'any organization says you can’t accept yourself is damaging people beyond repair.'
From: TruthWinsOut.Org Introduces Three New Videos Leading Up To March 3 Launch of Dynamic Website
Q&A: Dr. Andrea Macari on the harm of the 'ex-gay' myth
Dr. Macari is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical and School Psychology and Masters of Arts in Psychology with distinction from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. She also graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology where she was the recipient of many awards.
Dr. Macari is a nationally known expert and media personality. She frequently serves as a contributor to some of the nation's most popular programs, including The O'Reilly Factor, Nancy Grace, Montel, and The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. With over 100 television and radio appearances, Dr. Macari is recognized as one of the leading disseminators of psychological information. Her website is www.drmacari.com.
WAYNE BESEN: Dr. Andrea Macari, a licensed clinical psychologist in New York answers all the questions you wanna know about ex-gay therapy.
Question 1: Is reparative therapy based on science or superstition?
DR. ANDREA MACARI: Therapy is the wrong word to use because therapy implies that it’s a type of science, and reparative “pseudo” therapy, as I like to call it, is based in no science what so ever. It’s really based in religious and political dogmatic beliefs.
WAYNE BESEN: What about the ‘success’ stories, does ‘ex-gay’ therapy work?
DR. ANDREA MACARI: Any success that reparative therapies claim to make are bogus. Their “success,” is really in the fact that they’re helping people repress who they are. They’re not changing who they are. And the reality is, is that, the heart and the soul, can only be fooled for so long. That eventually your true self will come out.
WAYNE BESEN: Are ex-gay programs, including religious ministries and reparative therapy, harmful?
DR. ANDREA MACARI: Ultimately when we don’t accept ourselves, we’re leaving ourselves vulnerable to depression, anxiety, anger, even suicidal thoughts. So any organization or institution which perpetuates the notion that you can’t accept yourself for who you are, is really damaging people beyond repair.
WAYNE BESEN: What do the experts say about homosexuality and mental illness?
DR. ANDREA MACARI: Homosexuality is not a mental illness. This represents over 500,000 medical and psychological professionals. Some of brightest stars we have in America have said that no, this is not true, but organizations like Exodus continue to espouse this notion that homosexuality is abnormal.
WAYNE BESEN: Is homosexuality a lifestyle choice that can be changed?
DR. ANDREA MACARI: Reparative pseudo therapy is espoused that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice. There’s nothing farther from the truth.
Just like we can’t change a heterosexual person to be homosexual, we can’t change a homosexual person to be heterosexual.
WAYNE BESEN: Groups like Exodus International like to capitalize on peoples fears, by saying they’re unhappy because they’re gay. So what happens if you are gay and unhappy?
DR. ANDREA MACARI: Your sexual orientation has nothing to do with your happiness. Happiness and sexual orientation are two independent variables.
Organizations like Exodus are keeping their followers ignorant. They refuse to present role models, mentors, who are gay, who are living happy healthy lives. If they did, it really would debunk this belief that they’re trying to put forth that being homosexual is equated with being miserable. And this is simply not true.
Organizations like Exodus really are living in a dream world, they’re living in a fantasy world, that’s just not based in reality. The reality is that homosexuals are living and thriving in America, and across this world.
WAYNE BESEN: Coming out can be very difficult sometimes. But is it worth it?
DR. ANDREA MACARI: There is no doubt that the coming out process isn’t stressful, but for those who have attempted it, they describe it as being the ultimate in freedom. It’s like living a life of suffocation, and now being able to breathe clearly.
Often, any of the psychological issues that they have experienced while they were repressing their sexual orientation, disappear, they dissipate - depression, anxiety, lifts. Because the burden of secrecy, the burden of shame, is no longer there.
WAYNE BESEN: Struggling to accept yourself? What should you look for in a therapist?
DR. ANDREA MACARI: It is essential, that if you are gay, you go to a therapist who is trained in dealing with these types of issues. Who has a clear understanding of where they stand when it comes to issues of sexual orientation. Otherwise you have the person’s own stigma, own prejudices, coming in the way of your therapy, and that’s the last thing that you wanna do.
WAYNE BESEN: For more information about the ex-gay myth, visit TruthWinsOut.org
Background on Dr. Andrea Macari:
Mike & Juliet -- ex-gays (Pt2)
-Relevant portion (Macari):
JULIET: Doctor, give us your assessment of what’s going on here.
DR. ANDREA MACARI; CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well first of all, let’s stop calling this therapy. Because therapy is based in hard science, not in hateful, political, and religious agendas, number one.
MIKE: You think this is all a religious agenda?
DR. ANDREA MACARI: These types of conversion pseudo therapies, really are stemming from faith based ministries, so we have that at the bottom of all this. Second of all, they’re not changing who anybody is. They’re just helping people suppress who they are.
LESLIE CHAMBERS: Can I say, can I say that living with him for ten years, he couldn’t suppress that deep of a secret, for that many years–as close and as open as we are.
ALAN CHAMBERS: The truth is though that…
DR. ANDREA MACARI: You can when the shame and guilt that you’ve been made to feel is that powerful, you can suppress almost anything. But I will tell you cannot fool your heart and soul for that long.
ALAN CHAMBERS: You know what though, can I… The sad thing is that people are denying other people a right to information, a right to live the life, how they best see fit. I’m not ashamed of who I am. I love for the first time in my life, I love who I am. This is my wife..
MIKE: Does your religion say that homosexuality is absolutely wrong?
ALAN CHAMBERS: My religion says a whole lot of things aren’t the best for how we live.
MIKE: Does it say that?
ALAN CHAMBERS: It says homosexuality isn’t God’s creative intent for sexuality, but you know what, the truth is, we live in a free and tolerant society. People can choose to live how they want.
JULIET: And we’re going to leave it at that because we do have to get going. This is really really interesting. We want to hear your comments, so write us at MandJShow.com and we appreciate you for sharing your story–coming here. Thank you very much. [END]
Last edited by Emproph; 02-12-2008 at 01:52 PM.
Reason: addition, second addition