Friday, July 15, 2011

Why Marcus Bachmann's Defense of His Clinic Is Bogus

The counseling clinic of Marcus Bachmann - Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's husband - has been making headlines recently, especially after Truth Wins Out released an undercover report regarding the clinics dabbling into reparative therapy. In response to these allegations, Marcus Bachmann has stated that counselors at his clinic might use the techniques of reparative therapy, but that they only do so if the client wants them too. He stated,
"Will I address it? Certainly we'll talk about," Bachmann said. "Is it a remedy form that I typically would use? … It is at the client's discretion."
I find this answer quite flawed. As has been shown at the Bachmann clinic, if a client comes in and is conflicted about being gay, does the clinic affirm his sexual orientation? Does the clinic say that it is completely natural and normal for an individual to be LGBT - a position that all major reputable psychological and medical organizations hold? Based not only upon the footage from Truth Wins Out , but from stories of others who have gone to the clinic, it seems that if a client who "struggles with same-sex attraction" goes into this clinic, they are told that such attraction is against God's design, instead of a natural and normal biological variant. How else then would a client respond? Naturally, they would want to know how they could be free from such attractions and eliminate this sinful part of their nature. Instead of validating a clients sexual orientation, these counselors seem to give the client no actual "choice" but to request some form of reparative therapy.

Additionally, as I stated a few days ago, the mental state of the client must also be evaluated when allowing such therapy. Under most conditions, reparative therapy is sought by the client for negative religious, social, or familial reasons (I challenge anyone to name one condition under which it is sought for positive reasons). Any legitimate counseling organization would recognize such outside forces and reject outright any affiliation with that clients attempt to "change".

For these two reasons, I don't buy Marcus Bachmann's explanation. A true counselor would seek to affirm and validate - instead of demean and tear down - a clients sexual orientation. And if a client really did come into the clinic to seek to change his sexual orientation, any legitimate therapist would recognize that he was doing so for the wrong reasons and would thus politely decline to administer such therapy.

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