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#180103 - 09/13/07 04:19 PM Ethical Practice??
Darren Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 120
Loc: The High Seas
I'm not sure this post should go here or in the off-topic forum, so pease move my post if it's in the wrong place.

Question: Is encouraging a client to have sex with a woman, as a check, and just to be sure the client experiences what sex is like with both genders (presumabley in order so the client can make an informed decision as to whether or not he is really gay), an ethical practice for a therapist? This happened to me 20 years ago. I'm just curious what others think, or if anyone experienced the same kind of treatment from a therapist. (Incidentally, I did follow his advice and had sex with a woman. When I later decided I was gay after all he wanted me to have sex with another woman to provide even more of a balancing effect, perhaps tipping the scales in the other direction. I didn't follow up on that advice and stopped seing him shortly thereafter) Any opinions? Thanks. -Darren

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“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates” -Mark Twain

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#180111 - 09/13/07 05:05 PM Re: Ethical Practice?? [Re: Darren]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
My two cents: I don't think a therapist should be encouraging a client to have any kind of sexual experience that they don't desire/feel ready for. That's different from encouraging a client to overcome a fear that's blocking them from doing something they want to do.

But it's the objectification that's bothering me here. ("You need to have one from Column A and one from Column B") Was this T encouraging you to have an experience with a PERSON, or just a gender? Were these women supposed to know that they were an experiment? It sounds like your therapist was pushing a rather detached view of sexuality that is a bigger problem than deciding what the client's orientation is.

David


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#180114 - 09/13/07 05:36 PM Re: Ethical Practice?? [Re: MemoryVault]
Darren Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 120
Loc: The High Seas
Thanks for your two cents, David. My T definitely surprised me with his suggestion. I don't think I was ready to have that experience, but did it on his advice because I was open to the idea that it might actually have some effect (at the time I was still of the mind I might be going through a phase) I remember thinking, who am I going to do it with? I think he definitely was encouraging me to have an experience with a gender, not a person; but it was done out in the open, so to say, because my T did tell me to tell her that he was suggesting it, and that she would be helping me out by cooperating.

After posting I was thinking the situation probably sounds more preposterous if you reverse it. In other words, suppose a therapist is telling a straight guy that, as a check, he ought to have sex with a man so he can make an informaed decision as to whether or not he is really straight. And if he still feels straight after the first guy, well, maybe try it with another guy. Wouldn't most straight guys scoff at that idea? _Darren

_________________________
“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates” -Mark Twain

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#180118 - 09/13/07 06:16 PM Re: Ethical Practice?? [Re: Darren]
DeafDavid Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/06
Posts: 38
Loc: NM
Hey Darren:

I agree that is was very strange for a T to suggest that you go out and have sex with another human being just for the purpose of making an informed decision. I mean, that is just so wrong on several levels!

Your post made me think of an experience I had with a T just last year. I was talked into seeing a T by my social worker (I was 16 at the time). This T knows ASL (American Sign Language as I am deaf)as well as has experience with SA or so he said. During my third visit I talked about the fact that I was probably gay but he kept telling me it was just because of my prior SA. That was an understandable statement but he then went on and said if I really did think I am gay, he could send me to a 'camp place' associated with a church that would cure me of those thoughts (and it was implied that 'those' thoughts are not normal). Well I was very surprised of this but was to timid to tell him what I really thought of his suggestion. When I went back to my social worker and Judge (I am in foster care) they agreed with me that he was very inappropriate and they dismissed him from my case.

Anyway, I realize this is not really your topic, but it just shows that all T's are not qualified to work with those of us that have the prior SA. I have never even thought of seeing another T after that experience. Many people in here and elsewhere try to change my mind but I just don't think it is worth it. This T made me feel even more guilt and shame than I did when I first went there. I have come to believe that whether I am gay or not, I don't need to be "cured" of either orientation.

Thanks for giving me this opportunity to get this off my chest. I didn't realize how much it was still bothering me until I started to write this.

David


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#180133 - 09/13/07 07:29 PM Re: Ethical Practice?? [Re: DeafDavid]
Darren Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 120
Loc: The High Seas
Hi David!

Thanks for sharing! I'd like to think that therapists like the one I had aren't around anymore, but obviously they are. That therapist they sent you to was obviously prejudiced. At least the Judge had the good sense to dismiss the T from your case.

It took me 20 years to have the courage to see another T, so I can understand your reluctance to see another one so soon. You definitely don't need to be 'cured' of your orientation. That being said, I wouldn't rule out therapy altogether. It has been very positive for me the second time around (even though I've been to only one session so far) and she hasn't suggested I go to any camp to cure my thoughts.

There are good people out there who want to help. Whatever you do, you know you have support on MS.

Take care,

-Darren

_________________________
“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates” -Mark Twain

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