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Dr. Warren Throckmorton Christian Blog and Commentary

Montel Willams Show psychiatrist at heart of complaint from Exodus International

  • Dr. Warren Throckmorton
    Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College (PA). He co-founded the Golden Rule Pledge which advocates bullying prevention in evangelical churches. His academic articles have been published by journals of the American Psychological Association and he is past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. He is the author with fellow Grove City College professor, Michael Coulter, of the book, Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims About Our Third President. Over 200 newspapers have published his columns. He can be reached at ewthrockmorton@gcc.edu.
  • 2007 Oct 23
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Alan Chambers and Exodus international have filed an ethics complaint against television psychiatrist Alicia Salzer. Actually the complaint was filed some weeks ago but Exodus has received no reply from the APA. Dr. Salzer works for Montel Williams and in that role took part in a controversial March 15 episode titled “Homosexuality…Can it be cured?” After Alan described his personal story, Dr. Salzer had this to say:

“This is marketing; this is not science…Science has shown us that 96% of people cannot change and along the way, absorb an enormous amount of self-loathing, a lot of confusion, a lot of family conflict, so I know the harm.”

In the ethics complaint, Alan refers to my blog post on Dr. Salzer’s misapplication of Shidlo and Schroeder’s research on harm that some have experienced from ex-gay therapies to provide some of the foundation for the complaint. In their public statements, psychiatrists are not to speak for the profession without solid empirical evidence. In this case, Dr. Salzer spoke not only for psychiatry but for science.

As noted in past posts, the video Abomination takes a similar route. The documentary presents the Shidlo and Schroeder study as if one can have confidence in their findings being representative of those who have sought out ex-gay style ministries or therapy.

As I mentioned in a recent post, I intend to re-view the documentary and have some more to say about the video and the harm that can come from misguided methods.