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Exposure of Richard Cohen ex-gay 'cuddling therapy' causes rift

Oh this is rich. Remember infamous “conversion therapist” Richard Cohen and his wacky appearance on CNN’s Paula Zahn?

via Ex Gay Watch. View the whole video here.

…Cohen’s methods have raised some questions, however; and he has lately taken sharp criticism over a May 23 appearance on Cable News Network (CNN), in which he demonstrated a technique that involves cuddling a male client in his lap. Another of the unusual therapy techniques depicted involved a client hitting a pillow with a tennis racket while shouting the name of a parent or other individual who elicits painful childhood memories.

via Truth Wins Out.

Cohen, who refers to himself as a reorientation therapist, explained the “holding therapy” exercise as a means of using “healthy touch” on clients, who very often were “touch deprived” as children. He says this technique is one of the most effective ways to help men and women leave homosexuality.

“They’re hungering for that intimacy and that bonding that they didn’t experience in primary relationships with parents and/or same-gender peers,” the psychotherapist asserts. “So what we have to provide then, in the Christian community, is really mentoring these men and women,” he says, “and a lot of them need healthy touch — hugging, holding, just palling around, buddying around.”

It looks like the worldwide broadcasting of Cohen’s cuddling and cradling techniques to cure The Gay didn’t go over well with another junk science “reparative therapy” guru — and the sh*t is hitting the fan.

Psychologist Dr. Warren Throckmorton, director of college counseling at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, maintains a blog on sexual identity change therapy and related information for interested individuals. He is not a reparative therapist, but he claims Cohen’s techniques as demonstrated on CNN are bizarre and are not based on solid research.

Since viewing the “Paula Zahn Now” segment, Throckmorton has notified PFOX that, although he supports its mission and its belief that people are not born homosexual, he will not represent the group as long as Cohen remains its board president.

“Richard means well and has a good heart,” Throckmorton acknowledges. “I think he is interested in helping people achieve the change that he himself has achieved. However, I also am concerned that the techniques and the portrayal of them left the wrong impression in the minds of many people in the public.”

You don’t say, Warren? Meeeeoooow. Richard bites back.

Meanwhile, Cohen has asked Throckmorton to apologize for his “fallacious” remarks, calling him “a brilliant man and a great brother in Christ” who is helping in this area of ministry but who has handled his disagreement with a colleague in the wrong way. The PFOX board president says it is “very unfortunate that, instead of following Matthew 18 protocol for any conflict resolution” and “instead of addressing me directly,” Throckmorton “went right to the blog and then posted his comments.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding