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Joseph Nicolosi

Joseph Nicolosi is a clinical psychologist and a past-president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). Nicolosi has advocated and practiced reparative therapy for transgender, gay, and lesbian people. I saw in person at Love Won Out where he said in a plenary that fathers should throw their sons up in the air. "They might fall and break their skull, but at least they won't be gay."  Even my heterosexist pastor got the chills.  He's infamous for claiming reparative therapy has a strong scientific basis but can never back those claims up. My favorite is from a BBC interview, May 5, 2009. (Original audio here.)

BBC: Have you done randomized trials?

Nicolosi: Oh, many, many studies have been done. I don't do it, I'm a clinical psychologist.

Michael King: There have been no randomized trials of the sort . . .

Nicolosi: That's not true. Absolutely not true...

King: Can you cite a randomized trial, a large, randomized clinical trial of your treatments?

Nicolosi: How many therapies exist today which are not grounded . . .

King: You cannot, can you?

Nicolosi: The point is there are many psychotherapies that exist today that are completely legitimate but no randomized test has every been done because - you know why? - because it's very difficult.

King: But you are claiming a therapy in a very sensitive area so you should provide the evidence that most scientists would accept.

And from the same interview:

King: . . . Of the sort of psychotherapy Dr. Nicolosi's talking about. In the 1970s, there were a number of quite well-known randomized trials on behavior-aversion therapy and they showed it didn't work and thus it was dropped fairly quickly. 

BBC: Can I also ask Dr. Nicolosi, is it not true the American Psychological Association has an actual statement on their website warning against NARTH, the organization you just introduced.

Nicolosi: No, no that's not true.

BCC: Oh, well I could easily produce it for you.Nicolosi: Please produce it.

BBC: Please let me finish . . .

Nicolosi: That's absolutely not true.

BBC: . . . saying that the treatments that your organization promotes creates a climate that increases prejudice and stigma. . .

Nicolosi: Okay, are you finished? I tell you, that's absolutely not true. 


King: There's a policy statement on the website of the American Psychological Association.

Nicolosi: And I ask you to bring it up because you will not find it.

BBC: I must say, Dr. Nicolosi, there does seem to be something here. "For over three decades the consensus of the mental health community has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. The APA’s concern about the position’s espoused by NARTH and so-called conversion therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH."

Nicolosi (innocent voice): That's on the American Psychological Association?

BBC: It's actually from the public affairs office. 

Nicolosi: I'm very shocked. You got me on that one. You got me on that one.

The APA's full warning can be read on their website:

See Also

Little Boy Lost - Analysis of Nicolosi and Glenn Stanton speaking about transgender children on Dr. Phil

Ex-Gay Watch articles - XGW has an impressive following of Nicolosi's actions regarding reparative therapy to change romantic orientation

A Parents Guide to Preventing Homosexuality - Despite the title, Nicolosi talks about dealing with a transgender child.