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Anonymous asked in Social SciencePsychology · 1 decade ago

How do Christian psychologists deal with homosexual clients?

According to many psychologists and psychiatrists, homosexuality is not a sickness. However, many Christians refer to homosexuality as "something that is not natural". Most Christians believe that it is just curiosity at a certain stage of life that leads a person to become homosexual. If a psychologist is Christian, what do they say to their clients? On one hand, their profession tells them that homosexuality is not a mental disease. On the other hand, their religion tells them that homosexuality is against the nature. Although I understand that most professionals in this field can seperate between work and their own religion, there are conflicting roles and conflicts of interests. Do psychologists support their gay clients or are they against them?

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  • izaboe
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    i think they could help and support them without prejudice. isn't that what being Christian is all about? if they had a serious problem, though, they would refer the client to somebody else and wash their hands of the issue.

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  • jdphd
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    A prior responder said this " "According to many psychologists and psychiatrists, homosexuality is not a sickness." Psychology treats homosexuality as a psychological disorder (see wikipedia.org). This term is de facto a synonym to "sickness", therefore your statement is erroneous."

    This is ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. The American Psychological Association has changed their diagnosis manual several times since the 1970s and homosexuality is NOT recognized as a disorder. It was considered a disorder a very long time ago but is absolutely not at this point in time. It is also considered unethical to counsel someone to change their homosexuality - UNLESS the person has come into therapy for the express purpose of trying to become heterosexual - and it that case the therapist is often required to advise the client that there has been very, very little success in this treatment approach.

    Source(s): I have a degree in psychology
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  • 1 decade ago

    Despite the fact that every individual will have his/her own point of view on homosexuality, being a psychologist or a psychiatrist represents a profession, which - as any other profession - is practiced within certain limits and rules imposed by the nature of their work, regardless of personal opinions. As the psychology field is centered around the human mind, there are a lot of ethical rules that need to be considered when dealing with clients or patients.

    As a psychologist, you will deal with the person, not with their sexual orientation, religion, skin color or profession. Personal opinions have no place in a psychologist-client interaction, because a psychologist's role isn't to state his/her opinions, but to help the individual overcome his/her problems.

    Should a psychologist have a strong opinion or feeling towards a patient (be it positive or negative), the ethical rules of this profession require that they will redirect the patient to a different doctor who will be capable of helping him or her in a better way. Any negative feelings between the psychologist and their patients will greatly impact the quality of their interaction, and - implicitly - will affect the therapy course.

    To conclude, a psychologist won't tell you that you are good or bad, because this profession requires you to help people overcome their problems depending on their own opinions, ideas and life style, and will not direct them into taking decisions related to sex, religion or car type.

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  • A psychologist's job is to help a client, not to impose their own values. A Christian psychologist cannot force their religious standards on a homosexual client anymore than any psychologist can impose their beliefs on any other client. A psychologist's personal beliefs and feelings remain outside of the therapy setting.

    There are exceptions, however. If the psychologist is practicing as a Christian counselor, rather than just a counselor, then they have established their practice as being tied to their religious beliefs. In that case, anyone who is not seeking Christian-based guidance should look elsewhere. The other exception is if the client is seeking therapy because of their sexual preference and choose to ask the psychologist what he or she believes. The psychologist can choose to answer that question.

    Psychologists do have the ability to refuse or refer clients with whom they are not comfortable. For any psychologist, Christian or not, who is uncomfortable working with a homosexual client, the standard practice would be to either refuse them as a client or to refer them to someone who would comfortable with them.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There is certainly love the sinner hate the sin... but there are also pharmacists who refuse to fill birth control and morning after prescriptions on account of religion.

    I don't think there's a specific protocol. And those who are visiting psychiatrists aren't likely to divulge these kinds of issues, since there are some very specific reasons people see psychiatrists to begin with.

    So, factually, I don't think there's a record of this. But I'm hoping like you the psychiatrist/psychologist puts their personal beliefs aside for the best of their patient.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This is from the APA Ethics code:

    "Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. Psychologists are aware that special safeguards may be necessary to protect the rights and welfare of persons or communities whose vulnerabilities impair autonomous decision making. Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. Psychologists try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices."

    Despite what certain poorly-informed others have told you, your initial understanding was correct; every major medical and mental health organization (including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association) has affirmed that homosexuality is NOT a disorder or sickness, and therefore cannot be "cured."

    While the APA has not yet decried "reparative" and "conversion" therapies as unethical, they are very clear that there is no evidence that such therapies are effective, and they exhort clinicians to clearly inform their clients of this fact. Most psychologists I know would never even consider embarking on a course to change a client's sexual orientation.

    If a psychologist's strong religious views prevent him or her from working effectively, ethically, and competently with a client or particular kind of client (e.g., gay or lesbian persons), he or she is encouraged to make a referral to another practitioner as well as consider addressing his or her own issues.

    I'm speaking here of licensed psychologists, mind you; there are a number of unlicensed religious "counselors" whose standards, ethics, and boundaries I know very little about. But I get the impression they might encourage a struggling homosexual to "pray" the gay away.

    Take, for example, James Dobson, the detestable Focus on the Family founder, who touts his psychology degree for credibility even as he says things that are incredulous and far outside of mainstream psychology's understanding of human sexuality. Indeed, a number of researchers have been quite vocal in their criticism of his habit of misinterpreting their findings for his own ends.

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  • 1 decade ago

    They let them know they are "there" for them, and listen to their problems. They recognize that they are sinners, just like everyone is, in need of a savior. They will probably wait and see if the person is interested in finding out what God thinks of this, and if not, they probably wouldn't go there. A christian psychologist, that truly wants to help someone will struggle with it, because they want to help people, and probably realize that pursuing a homosexual way of life is not a way that would make one happy in the long run. Overall, they would do what Jesus would do, I hope. Extend love, but give direction and warning, and alternatives to help. Jesus would love them, and not want them lost or deceived forever.

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  • Erika
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    >>>would not the bible vaguely point out something approximately loving and forgiving.<<< No, it would not vaguely point out them. It very needless to say demands them. yet being "loving and forgiving" isn't equivalent to "accepting each habit taking place available, alongside with ones the Bible particularly condemns." >>> i don't get it, so can any of you provide me a non religious reason homosexuals are undesirable?<<< Christianity would not show that homosexuals are undesirable. It teaches that gay habit is undesirable. there's a difference. >>>or why they shouldn't get married?<<< gay people can get married. they have in basic terms as lots of a appropriate to pass into right into a guy-woman union (that's what marriage is) as absolutely everyone else. via attempting to alter marriage into something different than a guy-woman union, gays are no longer striving for "equivalent rights." they're striving for a heterosexual corporation to be altered, or a minimum of stronger, with the intention to slot their existence-form. that's no longer at all of the comparable ingredient as searching for "equivalent rights." .

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not sure....I only hope they counsel without judgment..

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