Miserere Nobis!

Hilfe für Katholikinnen und Katholiken mit ungewollten gleichgeschlechtlichen Neigungen

Erfolgsfaktoren


We can't solve a problem with the same thinking that created them - Albert Einstein



Wie stehts mit Fachleuten? Haben Therapeuten, die einer Veränderung positiv gegenüber stehen, einige Faktoren gefunden, die die Wahrscheinlichkeit für einen Erfolg erhöhen?

Ja. Auch hier hat der bedeutendste Faktor mit der Motivation zu tun. Untersuchungen haben einen engen Zusammenhang zwischen der unerschütterlichen Motivation einer Person und des Ergebnisses festgestellt. Sogar Dr. Robert Spitzer, der ursprünglich dafür war, Homosexualität von der Liste der psychischen Störungen zu nehmen, fand diesen Erfolgsfaktor.

Wenige jedoch haben so viel Erfahrung wie Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. Er hat mit über 1.000 Männern gearbeitet und war Präsident der National Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality (NARTH). 

Seine Erfolgsfaktoren:

1) Sich nicht vom Selbstmitleid besiegen lassen.
2) Eine positive Selbst-Wahrnehmung als Teil einer heterosexuellen Gesellschaft.
3) Stress- und Frustrationstoleranz.
4) Heterosexuelle Fantasien und Träume.
5) Starke Familienbande.
6) Ein traditionelles Wertesystem.
7) Die Fähigkeit, impulsiven Verhalten zu widerstehen und "Belohnung" oder "Befriedigung" hinauszuschieben.
8) Die Fähigkeit, sich Ziele zu setzen.
9) Die Fähigkeit, über vergangene Erfahrungen nachzudenken, sie in Worte zu fassen und daraus zu lernen.
10) Bessere Prognosen haben auch Männer, die sexuell weniger aktiv waren (sexuelles Verhalten beeinflusst die Gewohnheiten!)
11) Geduld mit sich selbst.
12) Akzeptanz der langen Dauer des Kampfes.

Bete und bitte den Herrn, dir diese Fähigkeiten zu geben!



"Noch ist keine Versuchung über euch gekommen, die den Menschen Überfordert. Gott ist treu; er wird nicht zulassen, dass ihr über eure Kraft hinaus versucht werdet. Er wird euch in der Versuchung einen Ausweg schaffen, sodass ihr bestehen könnt."
1 Korinther 10:13 Einheitsübersetzung



"Eines der ersten Dinge, die man einem Mann oder einer Frau sagen sollte, die Angst haben, es gäbe keine Hoffnung auf Heilung seiner oder ihrer Geschlechts-Verwirrung, ist, ihm bzw. ihr zu versichern, dass es genau genommen gar keinen Schwulen oder Lesbe gibt. Es gibt nur eine Person (wie schrecklich!), geschaffen als Abbild Gottes – eine Person, die von einem lebenswichtigen Teil von sich selbst abgeschnitten wurde. Gott hilft uns mit Freude, diesen verlorenen Teil wieder zu finden, ihn zu bekräftigen und zu segnen.“ (Leanne Payne, The Healing of the Homosexual)



Ich habe mich gerade entschieden, die Homosexualität hinter mich zu lassen. Was muss ich wissen? Was kann man im Leben derer beobachten, die erfolgreich waren?

Es soll nicht verschwiegen werden: Die Homosexualität zu verlassen ist nicht leicht. Viele homosexuelle Männer und Frauen beginnen den Heilungsprozess - um dann wieder aufzuhören, wenn es zu "hart" wird. Nach der ersten großen Euphorie sitzt man dann schnell als ein Häufchen Elend da: man vermisst die schwulen (lesbischen) Freunde, fühlt sich alleine, die gleichgeschlechtlichen Neigungen sind immer noch da, kurz: man scheint keinen Fortschritt zu machen.

Vollgestopft mit Selbstmitleid und ständig auf sich selbst konzentriert will man alles. Man will es jetzt - und man will es, ohne viel dafür tun zu müssen.

Aber: Als Faustformel kann man sagen: je länger man diesen Neigungen bereits nachgegeben hat, desto schwieriger und länger wird die Heilung.



Hier nun die TOP FIVE - die wichtigsten Erfolgsfaktoren derer, die es geschafft haben:


Die richtige Motivation. Die richtige Einstellung: "Egal, was geschieht!" Du musst die Veränderung verzweifelt wollen - egal, wie schmerzvoll der Prozess ist und wie lange er dauert. Das Christentum ist eine Religion für Verzweifelte. Lesen wir Markus 5: 24-29: "Da ging Jesus mit ihm. Viele Menschen folgten ihm und drängten sich um ihn. Darunter war eine Frau, die schon zwölf Jahre an Blutungen litt. Sie war von vielen Ärzten behandelt worden und hatte dabei sehr zu leiden; ihr ganzes Vermögen hatte sie ausgegeben, aber es hatte ihr nichts genutzt, sondern ihr Zustand war immer schlimmer geworden. Sie hatte von Jesus gehört. Nun drängte sie sich in der Menge von hinten an ihn heran und berührte sein Gewand. Denn sie sagte sich: Wenn ich auch nur sein Gewand berühre, werde ich geheilt. Sofort hörte die Blutung auf und sie spürte deutlich, dass sie von ihrem Leiden geheilt war." Diese Frau war mit Sicherheit verzweifelt, aber ihr Glaube hat ihr geholfen. Deshalb: egal, was geschieht: mache weiter. Vertraue Gott. Glaube an seine heilende Kraft! Siehe auf Jesus - nicht auf deine Sünde! Lasse deine früheren homosexuellen Freunde nur lachen - du tust es für Jesus!

Ein neues Ziel. Das einzige Ziel, das dich zu eben genannter Ausdauer bringen kann: Gehorsam. Wenn du dich darauf konzentrierst, heterosexuell zu werden anstatt gehorsam zu sein, ist die Chance, dass du scheitern wirst, sehr hoch. Das Gegenteil von Homosexualität ist nicht Heterosexualität - es ist "Heiligkeit": Jesus nachzufolgen, so wie Er werden zu wollen. DANN werden die Begierden des Fleisches wegfallen und wir werden eine unerkannte Freiheit erleben. Eine Freiheit, die für EINIGE auch heterosexuelle Sehnsüchte umfasst.

Andere Beziehungen. "Gesunde Beziehungen" ist hier das Schlüsselwort, v.a. was offene, ehrliche und starke Rechenschaftsablegung betrifft. In Jakobus 5:16 lesen wir: "Darum bekennt einander eure Sünden und betet füreinander, damit ihr geheiligt werdet. Viel vermag das inständige Gebet eines Gerechten." Beichte fördert den Heilungsprozess und bringt unsere Schwächen ans Licht - egal wie beschämt und verängstigt wir uns fühlen. Vergiss nicht: unser Gott ist ein Gott, der Sünden vergibt, wenn wir sie beichten. Er verdammt uns nicht dafür.

Verpflichtung zum Handeln. Sagst du deinen Ängsten den Kampf an oder wartest du ab, bis dir die Heilung auf einem silbernen Tablett präsentiert wird? Liest du hilfreiche Literatur? Liest du Gottes Wort? Zum Beispiel 2 Petrus 1:3-13 (Einheitsübersetzung): "Alles, was für unser Leben und unsere Frömmigkeit gut ist, hat seine göttliche Macht uns geschenkt; sie hat uns den erkennen lassen, der uns durch seine Herrlichkeit und Kraft berufen hat. Durch sie wurden uns die kostbaren und überaus großen Verheißungen geschenkt, damit ihr der verderblichen Begierde, die in der Welt herrscht, entflieht und an der göttlichen Natur Anteil erhaltet. Darum setzt allen Eifer daran, mit eurem Glauben die Tugend zu verbinden, mit der Tugend die Erkenntnis, mit der Erkenntnis die Selbstbeherrschung, mit der Selbstbeherrschung die Ausdauer, mit der Ausdauer die Frömmigkeit, mit der Frömmigkeit die Brüderlichkeit und mit der Brüderlichkeit die Liebe. Wenn dies alles bei euch vorhanden ist und wächst, dann nimmt es euch die Trägheit und Unfruchtbarkeit, sodass ihr Jesus Christus, unseren Herrn, immer tiefer erkennt. Wem dies aber fehlt, der ist blind und kurzsichtig; er hat vergessen, dass er gereinigt worden ist von seinen früheren Sünden. Deshalb, meine Brüder, bemüht euch noch mehr darum, dass eure Berufung und Erwählung Bestand hat. Wenn ihr das tut, werdet ihr niemals scheitern. Dann wird euch in reichem Maß gewährt, in das ewige Reich unseres Herrn und Retters Jesus Christus einzutreten."

Eine andere Leidenschaft. Wenn du Homosexualität - oder jeden anderen sündhaften Lebensstil - überwinden willst, muss die Leidenschaft in deinem Herzen Jesus sein, zu tun, was Ihm gefällt. "Leide mit mir als guter Soldat Christi Jesu. Keiner, der in den Krieg zieht, lässt sich in Alltagsgeschäfte verwickeln, denn er will, dass sein Heerführer mit ihm zufrieden ist." 2 Timotheus 2:3-4.



Ich habe gerade erst mit der Therapie begonnen. Welches Programm ist am erfolgreichsten?


Die angebotenen Programme sind so unterschiedlich wie die Menschen, die Hilfe suchen.

Grundsätzlich ist zu einem Bündel von Maßnahmen und Programmen zu raten.

Es ist auf jeden Fall wichtig, Seminare zu besuchen, mehrwöchige Kurse, Einzelberatungen in Anspruch zu nehmen, Literatur zu lesen usw. All das ist wichtig, um zu verstehen, warum man dieses Problem hat und welche Möglichkeiten es gibt, es zu überwinden. Ebenso um den theologischen Hintergrund zu erfassen.

All dies erreicht aber nur den Kopf - den Verstand. Theoretisch weiß man dann zwar alles, das allein wird aber wohl kaum jemanden zur Heilung verhelfen. Nicht selten kommen die Menschen aus o.g. Programmen und haben das Gefühl, sie wissen zwar nun eine Menge, aber geholfen hat es ihnen gar nichts.

Betrachtet man die Wurzeln von Homosexualität, wird sehr schnell klar, dass es vor allem emotionale Bedürfnisse sind, die befriedigt werden müssen, sowie alte Wunden, die noch immer nicht geheilt sind oder von neuem aufbrechen. Dafür bedarf es Selbsthife-Gruppen sowie gesunder Beziehungen, die helfen, die legitimen Bedürfnisse nach gleichgeschlechtlicher Wärme und Nähe, die man meist in der Kindheit nicht erfahren hat, auf die richtige Weise zu befriedigen. Ebenso braucht man "Vorbilder", die einem dabei helfen, ein richtiger Mann (eine richtige Frau) zu werden. All dies läuft vorwiegend auf emotionaler Ebene.

Überaus wichtig aber auch: ein strukturiertes, diszipliniertes Leben (siehe "The Game Plan" von Joe Dallas).

Nochmals: du musst die Heilung wollen - koste es, was es wolle. Egal, wie lange es dauern und wie schmerzhaft es sein wird. Und: Kein Prozess und keine Technik ist wichtiger als ein Herz, das gehorsam und ergeben gegenüber Gott ist.



Wichtige Punkte deiner Therapie sind also:

1) Ein strukturiertes, diszipliniertes Leben.
2) Tägliches Bibellesen und Gebet früh morgens, gefolgt von Motivationstraining (siehe: "The Game Plan" von Joe Dallas).
3) Selbsthilfegruppen.
4) Seminare.
5) Regelmäßige Gespräche mit deinem Pastor.
6) Starke Familienbande.
7) Gesunde gleichgeschlechtliche Beziehungen.
8) Christliche Seelsorger oder Therapeuten (Einzelberatung).
9) Hilfreiche Literatur.
10) Reduzierung von Reizen, die einen sexuell stimulieren (wichtig: Vorsorgemaßnahmen treffen, damit man gar nicht in Versuchung kommt!).
11) Konsequente Überprüfung des eigenen Lebensstils, der Beziehungen und Gewohnheiten, ob diese hilfreich für das Therapieziel sind.
12) Bei ernsthaften emotionalen Problemen der Gang zum Facharzt.
13) Aktive Teilnahme am Gemeindeleben.
14) Ein Plan für den Fall, dass man fällt (sexuell in unangemessener Weise aktiv wird).
15) Für die emotionale Stabilität sind letztlich auch Ruhe- und Erholungsphasen wichtig.
16) Regelmäßiger Empfang der Sakramente (insbesondere der Hl. Kommunion und der Beichte)) und regelmäßiger Mess-Besuch.
17) Last but not least: Beten!

Grundsätzlich wird sehr empfohlen, das meiste o.g. Punkte im Rahmen von Ex-Gay Ministries zu machen (Adressen gibt es genügend auf dieser Homepage)!



Wenn du zu einem Seelsorger, Psychotherapeuten oder Psychiater gehst, kläre vorher folgende Punkte:

- Wie vielen Menschen mit gleichgeschlechtlichen Neigungen hat er/sie bereits geholfen?
- Ist er/sie Christ?
- Wie denkt er/sie über gleichgeschlechtliche Neigungen, ihre Ursachen, den Heilungsprozess?
- Entspricht seine/ihre Einstellung nicht der Meinung der Bibel: suche dir jemand anderes!

Manche Gruppen oder Therapeuten haben eine eher klinische Herangehensweise, andere eine eher biblische, Keine Methode ist "besser" als die andere.

Nochmals: Keinesfalls aber darf die Gruppe oder der Therapeut im Konflikt mit der Bibel sein!!


(Quelle: u.a. Joe Dallas, Dr. Joseph Niccolosi)


Four Principles of Growth

Presented by David A. Matheson, LPC


(This article is a reprint from a paper presented by David Matheson at the 2003 NARTH Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.)

INTRODUCTION

I am a therapist in private practice and am co-creator of Journey into Manhood (JiM), an experiential weekend for men seeking to change unwanted homosexuality. The JiM weekend is sponsored by People Can Change (PCC), a web based support organization that offers information, list-serves, and is beginning to coordinate face-to-face “JiM Groups” in a few major metropolitan areas. JiM and PCC are based to a large degree on the concepts I will be presenting.

Many men seeking to overcome homosexuality become frustrated and discouraged when they find that their feelings and attractions don't change as quickly or substantially as they had hoped. I believe that the reason these men become frustrated is because their efforts at change are not broad enough. By this I mean that their work, however intense and sincere, has not covered enough areas of life to bring about real change. For instance, a man might focus on overcoming sexual addiction but spend no time building healthy relationships with other men. Or, he may work on spiritual healing but give little attention to healing his emotional wounds.

Diminishing homosexual feelings and opening the way for heterosexuality to emerge seems to require efforts in four broad, overlapping areas. These are:


Masculinity (i.e., men changing have to feel manly and relate to other men)
Authenticity (e.g., getting out of the false self, facing real feelings in open relationships)
Need fulfillment (having those relationships, experiences, and opportunities that strengthen, nurture, and lead to joy and personal satisfaction)
Surrender (letting go of everything that prevents change from happening and letting in the things that restore growth processes)

These Four Principles are interdependent and synergistic. They are interdependent in that, in many instances, one principle cannot be lived without another being lived at the same time. They are synergistic in that they effect and are affected by each other and it is the interactivity of all the principles that causes substantial and lasting growth to occur.

Splitting these principles out is somewhat like putting a prism in white light, with white light representing the overall growth process. The prism shows us the different wavelengths that exist simultaneously in a whole beam of light.

My hope in splitting the change process out into these four “wavelengths” is to empower us to create whole growth processes, rather than to allow men to languish in incompletion.

THE PROBLEMS

To give context to the Four Principles, let me first characterize my view of the problems men with same-sex attraction (SSA) face. They have problems in four main areas:

1. Insufficient Masculinity. This refers to their feeling inadequate as men and having an insufficient connection with other men and to the masculine world. Men with SSA tend to be disconnected from the male world and from other men. And they are disconnected from their masculinity—from their own genderedness.
2. Inauthenticity. They are not just disconnected from their genderedness, but also from their most genuine feelings and impulses. As a brace against shame and deep fears of abandonment, they tend to interact with the world through a false self that has been carefully constructed so as to not arouse disapproval. They are not authentic.
3. Unmet Needs. With only limited access to their feelings, they tend to have difficulty perceiving their needs. They may also have beliefs about themselves and feelings of guilt that steer them directly away from meeting their needs. This means that their needs cannot be met, further weakening them emotionally and causing them to seek false means of self-nurture.
4. Emotional Rigidity. They tend to have difficulty making emotional shifts and being emotionally vulnerable. Their emotional and relational patterns tend to be rather rigid. Also, they often have deeply engrained thought and behavioral patterns.
I see all of these issues as reverberations and elaborations of painful childhood relationships where the boy was shamed and placed in double binds by his parents and peers. Most damagingly, he was placed in what I call a “gender double bind,” by the overall situation of his boyhood.

GENDER DOUBLE BIND

A double bind is a situation where there is no good way out—where there is pain or trouble no matter what you do. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. To quote the rock group The Cure: “If I go there will be trouble; If I stay it will be double.”

The men dealing with same-sex attraction that I and my colleagues have known over many years typically describe a particular family dynamic marked by double binds. This dynamic may be played out in a variety of ways, but the essence of it is that the boy is punished or hurt for being himself with his authentic personality, feelings, and needs.

The hurt and the punishment may be simply that his parents ignore his feelings and needs. Or it may be that he is disciplined or offended by a parent and then prevented from, or punished for, expressing his feelings about it. Or, more extremely, he may be abused and then beaten for crying. Parents, siblings, peers, teachers, and others can create double binds.

One of the worst double binds these boys experience involves their gender. They come to believe that it is bad to be a boy, or that they are unacceptable as a male. If they assert their masculinity, they are punished or shamed. On the other hand, they cannot abandon their maleness because it is integral to who they are. And to make matters worse, there is no one they can safely articulate their dilemma to. So they remain stuck in this Catch 22 for years, feeling despair and hopelessness. Gender Double Binds (GDBs) are created from a profound rejection—by parents or the environment—of a boy’s gendered self, whether by blunt force or by exquisite unconscious targeting.

It is important to note that the GDB experienced by any particular boy is created within the mind and emotions of the boy himself. Typically, there are real factors in the environment that contribute to his beliefs and feelings. And in some cases, these factors are more a matter of the boy’s perception than of external forces working on him.

When boys routinely experience double binds, they become afraid of self-expression and even afraid of their own feelings. They develop defenses against feeling and create an inauthentic “false self” that doesn’t arouse the disapproval of those around them. They become often passive and stuck in life. GDBs add to this a defensiveness against their own genderedness—against their own boyish masculinity.

ILLUSTRATION: Vic – “I think I knew from the womb: ‘You’d better not come out male.’” But his mother didn’t just expect him not to be male. He experienced a very strong expectation from her to be female—a fundamental violation of his body, mind, and spirit. To be male meant abandonment and death. To be female meant substantial loss of self.

ILLUSTRATION: Dave – Grew up feeling weak and inadequate—to try to be masculine would bring humiliation. Also, there seemed to be something bad, dirty, or even evil about masculinity. To be masculine meant shame and badness. To shun it brought more inadequacy, shame, taunting, and alienation from self and others.

RESTARTING GROWTH PROCESSES

The Gender Double Bind stops growth into mature masculinity and heterosexuality. The goal of gender affirming psychotherapy, the JiM experiential weekend, and JiM groups is to unblock the developmental processes arrested by problems in childhood so that normal growth can resume. But this growth needs optimal circumstances to proceed— especially when it has become blocked by powerful emotional and
behavioral defenses. This requires a multifaceted approach that addresses all four of the problem areas described above. The Four Principles of Change are a way of guiding that process.


MASCULINITY

The general concept of masculinity includes three more specific areas. These are internal, interpersonal, and societal concepts of masculinity. “Internal” refers essentially to gender identity—the sense of maleness and masculinity that a boy or man has of himself. “Interpersonal is about connections and affiliation with other men. And “societal” has to do with social concepts of masculinity, and with male roles.

What are the problems?

GDBs impact each of these three areas. Internally, the problem is that men with SSA typically feel a sense of inadequacy in their masculinity and may even doubt their maleness on less conscious levels. Despite a conscious knowledge of their given gender, they may feel feminine or weak in their maleness. One man described himself as having been “colonized” by his mother. Other men have mentioned that they can see
their mother reflected in their own bodily movements or hear her voice when they speak.These men tend to view “normal” (i.e., heterosexual) men as having some mysterious masculinizing quality that they lack. They also tend to disconnect from their bodies, which—being irrefutably male—are a key element of the GDB.

Interpersonally, the problem is that men with SSA have become defensively detached from other men. The sense of being fundamentally different from other males, which arises from GDBs, has put a profound wedge between the boy and his male peers, teachers, leaders, and relatives. The pain experienced in early relationships with these other males, which is typically described by men with SSA, deepens the defensiveness by adding an unconscious decision to never again attempt bonding. Defensive detachment leaves SSA men generally isolated from close, personal, non-gay relationships with other males.

Societally, men with SSA tend to feel alienated from, and resentful of, concepts of masculinity and male roles. This is essentially an extension of their internal and interpersonal detachment from masculinity and men. And the societal disconnection then interacts with the internal and interpersonal disconnection in a sort of “feedback loop,” reinforcing and exacerbating the overall sense of being out of step with the whole concept of maleness.

How is the principle of Masculinity lived?

The GDB must be broken in order for a sense of masculine sufficiency (having enough maleness inside you and around you in your life) to develop and grow. And, the GDB is broken by exposing the lies in it and by contradicting them experientially. Ways to expose some of the most common GDB lies are discussed below.

Lie: “If I behave in masculine ways (i.e., according to socially defined male roles) I will be humiliated, rejected, or shamed.” This lie is exposed and contradicted through little-by- little trying on typically masculine behaviors, including anything from sports to spitting. Some will stick and others will be dropped. Gradually, the newly adopted behaviors become integrated into the man’s overall personality and contribute to a deepening of his sense of masculinity. Having mature male role models is important in this process.

Lie: “If I expose my true self to “normal” (i.e., heterosexual) men, they will shame me and push me away.” Creating friendships with so-called “normal” men is the only way to contradict this lie. This must be done consciously, carefully, and with intention. Very often, the first step is to make deep and real friendships with other men in the process of change. The JiM weekend, JiM groups, and the many other SSA ministries and support groups offer opportunities for making such friendships in a safe and accountable environment. The New Warrior Training Adventure, New Warrior Integration Groups,church and synagogue groups and community clubs and associations offer opportunities for making the leap into close friendships with heterosexual men.

Lie: “If I pursue my authentic gender atypical interests (e.g., art, music, style, or nursing) I cannot be masculine and other men will not be able to relate to me.” The truth is that you don’t have to give up your passion in order to prove you’re a man. Rather, the challenge is to integrate that passion into an overall masculine personality and self-image.

Lie: “If I express masculine power, aggression, and anger I will be punished and abandoned.” This lie is core to the GDB and the contradiction of this lie often has a profoundly freeing and masculinizing effect. The root of this lie often goes all the way back to early childhood when the boy’s attempts at individuating and separating from mother went off track. Separation from mother, development of male identity, and
acquisition of personal power are very closely tied together. Failure to separate from mother typically has a cascading effect, derailing the other processes as well.

Contradicting this lie requires careful processes that lead the man into sometimes terrifying emotional places. There, he experiences feelings and conflicts he may have avoided for decades. The core of this work is typically anger, which is often conflicted by feelings of love and guilt. Working through these conflicts restarts the process of individuating and developing personal power, which deeply impacts in a positive way the sense of masculinity. It also provides increased energy and drive to do the other hard work of the change process to be described below.

AUTHENTICITY

To understand the principle of Authenticity, we must break it down into two related subprinciples. The first is Internal Authenticity, which in essence implies being whole within yourself and accepting yourself totally, rather than splitting off, repressing, or hiding parts of yourself. This requires an understanding of who you are on a level deeper than your job description, sexual feelings, or the labels given you by family and friends. It takes the capacity to feel and tolerate the full range of your own feelings, which can sometimes seem conflicting, confusing, and painful. And it depends on an ability to integrate these feelings, along with your beliefs about yourself, others, and the world into a self that can meet the challenges of life and relationships. Internal Authenticity might appropriately be termed “the technology of self.”

Interpersonal Authenticity is the second sub-principle within the overall concept of Authenticity. Simply put, Interpersonal Authenticity is the ability to be fully present and assertive in relationships to the degree appropriate and to respond out of your genuine self in those relationships. This starts with the assumption that each relationship is unique and calls for differing degrees of openness. Openness, or self-disclosure, is not synonymous with Interpersonal Authenticity. Not every relationship warrants disclosure of personal details and only a few relationships are conducive of true intimacy. Nevertheless, Interpersonal Authenticity suggests the ability to be genuine and true to yourself in a majority of relationships whether intimate or more superficial.

What are the problems?

As boys, these men experienced emotional conflicts (e.g., double binds) that outstripped their own internal resources and the resources of their families and peers. As a result, not only were these specific conflicts left unresolved, but the boy’s capacities to resolve internal crises did not develop. This left them unprepared to surmount conflicts over the span of their development. The pain and insecurity of unresolved conflicts caused them to shut down the feelings and split off the aspects of themselves that created the conflicts. They may have given up their anger or split off their assertiveness or needs for male friendship. They often disconnect from their bodies in order to avoid their feelings. They develop a “self” that doesn’t create conflict, but that is also false. They have lost who they truly are.

Lacking the ability to resolve emotional conflicts, existing with important parts of the self split off, and interacting with the world through a false self prevents these men from relating authentically with others. They may be friendly, personable, and “nice,” but they typically struggle with relational essentials including intimacy, attachment, self-assertion, empathy, honesty, and forgiveness.

How is the Principle of Authenticity Lived?

The principle of Authenticity starts with risking being whole. At first, wholeness must be explored in a very safe place (perhaps a therapist’s office) where the shut down feelings and split off aspects of self can be expressed and explored. Integration of contradictory feelings (like love and hate, anger and guilt) creates a greater sense of inner stability and clarifies relationships of the past and the present. Open exploration of split off aspects of self (e.g., assertiveness or sexual desires) reduces the shame that has accumulated around these and allows them also to be integrated into the self as well.

This entire process requires facing fear in a profound and new way. Men must let down their defenses in order to re-enter internal conflicts that they deemed intolerable years ago. And they must venture into their bodies where illogical, uncomfortable, and unpredictable emotions exist. The process also requires looking for self-created double binds (transferred from relationships of the past into relationships in the present).

As the therapeutic process proceeds, men naturally begin to carry their newfound assertiveness, clarity, and wholeness into the real world of relationships. They allow others to see their feelings in the here-and-now. They become able to reveal themselves to others and stay in relationship rather than defensively detaching. And they find themselves in fewer double binds.

It is important to understand that Authenticity is both the catalyst and the linchpin of change. Without it there is not going to be any real change. It must be the primary focus from the very beginning of the change process.


NEED FULFILLMENT

First, let me define the word “need.” I define “need” as that which is required in order to maintain joy. I consider joy to be the central purpose of human existence. By joy, I mean the experience of satisfaction, well being, and completion; the sense that life is good, that it has purpose and meaning. I am speaking of joy in its mature, bigger-than-self form— not mere excitement, stimulation, or even bliss, although each of these may be part of joy. But joy encompasses much more than those, including pain, disappointment, and grief.

A reverse description of “need” may add context: It is a need if not having it causes deterioration of the personality, for example depression, defenses, intense yearnings, loneliness, alienation, shutting down of feelings, or loss of interest or creativity. These are the opposite of joy and thus indicate unmet needs. Absent from this list of negative experiences indicating unmet needs are the core emotions of anger, sadness, and fear. Though many may view those feelings as running counter to joy and need fulfillment, experiencing them when warranted is actually a need in itself and part of the process of maintaining joy.

Need Fulfillment depends on two masculine drives: to preside and to provide. Presiding implies self- governance—creating order and balance in your life, which must be maintained if needs are to be adequately met. Providing implies the actual work done to meet a need, whether that is bringing home the paycheck or spending time bonding with a male friend.

What are the problems?

The problems described earlier that block men with SSA from experiencing Authenticity are the also the root problems that block Need Fulfillment. Meeting needs requires first knowing self. Of particular importance is the shutting down of feelings, splitting of self, and disconnection from the body caused by childhood double binds.

Men with SSA often do well at meeting some of their needs, but do poorly meeting others. Typically, shame or an emotional conflict surrounds the needs they do not meet. For example, meeting the need to feel at ease in the body—to feel confident and secure in your own skin—might require exercise and dieting. But intense body shame can make it very difficult to even acknowledge the body’s needs, much less care for the body or expose it by going to the gym for a workout. Or, meeting the need to individuate from mother might require creating boundaries in the relationship. But conflicting feelings of love, anger, and guilt can undermine the setting of boundaries with her.

Childhoods characterized by double binds can also diminish a man’s ability to meet his needs by engendering a passive personality. Essentially a learned helplessness, passivity results from life situations that left the boy with no power in his own life—he was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. To make matters worse, he likely created a false self to interface with his hostile or unpredictable double-binding world. The purpose of the false self is to perceive the needs or wants of other people and to satisfy them. Awareness of self—along with the needs of the self—is lost.

The further in life these men go without knowledge of their needs, the further off track they can become. In some cases, a fundamental incompatibility develops between their lifestyle and the meeting of their authentic needs. Getting back on track can then require substantial effort and sacrifice.

Grief is what naturally happens when we are thwarted in meeting our needs. If grief is too painful or pervasive, grief might defended against through various inaccurate methods, including masturbation, pornography, and homosexual fantasies or behavior.

How is the principle of Need Fulfillment lived?

Authenticity opens the way for Need Fulfillment by increasing awareness of both cognitive and physiological aspects of emotion. This means that a man can feel his feelings and understand what they mean. He is thus capable of understanding his emotions when they tell him what his needs are and when they tell him that his needs are either met or unmet.

When men first begin the change process, they often don’t understand their needs. One way to help them find out what their unmet needs are is to follow their grieving emotions (i.e., anger and sadness) to their source. This process is used in therapy to resolve feelings from painful relationships. But it can also point out needs that were left unmet in those relationships as well as needs that are being left unmet in the present. This process also makes viscerally clear to the man the painful consequences of not meeting his needs.Feeling these consequences can be extremely motivating.

But psychotherapeutic work alone may not be sufficient to help a man understand and meet his needs. Some men benefit from personality profiles, interest inventories, and aptitude tests to broaden their self-awareness, which can shed light on their individual needs profile. Also, accessing their own memory to review interests and life experiences can help shed additional light on their needs.

It may be helpful for men to consider various categories and types of needs. This can help them become aware of areas they might not have considered previously. While each person’s specific needs are unique, most men working to change SSA seem to have needs in each of the following areas:


Relational: love, affiliation, community, affection, trust, understanding, and intimacy from people in general
Male friendship: attention, affection, and approval from men specifically
Physical: touch, pleasure, rest, work, exercise, nourishment, and grooming.
Spiritual: connection to God, the universe, or something bigger than self; inspiration,
Work/Vocation: to produce, feel effective and useful; to enjoy daily activities; to have variety.
Empowerment: safety, freedom, self-direction, autonomy, and opportunity
Rest: relaxation, sleep, diversion, and entertainment
Self-expression: the opportunity to articulate to myself and the world who I am.
As difficult as the foregoing processes of learning about needs may sound, the more difficult work of Need Fulfillment is the daily devotion of time, energy, and resources that is required in order to actually the needs. For some men, this can require substantial adjustments in their lifestyle as they begin committing their time and money to meeting their needs. This often requires a high level of commitment the people close to the man as well, especially if he is married and has a family.


SURRENDER

Put most simply, Surrender is letting change happen. Surrender is releasing from your life everything that inhibits growth and receiving into your life those things that foster it. As the previous sentence suggests, Surrender is bi-directional—it involves both letting go (releasing) and letting in (receiving).

Imagine a fortress that has been defending against an invading force for some time. The occupants of the fort are out of provisions and ammunition. They are beginning to starve and die. They are ready to surrender. Doing so requires that they first put down their weapons. This represents the “letting go” aspect of surrender. Once they have relinquished their arms, they must accept the new command of the opposing force. This represents the “letting in” aspect of surrender. When the surrendering occupant of the fortress is a man with SSA, he soon discovers that the “opposing force” is benevolent and brings replenishment and healing.

What are the problems?

Men with SSA tend to have a difficult time letting change happen. This is not a trait unique to them—many if not most people experience at least a little discomfort with change and many will avoid it if at all possible. Anyone who responds to change in this way foils his own growth and development—his own transcendence to something greater. Men with SSA tend to have problems with surrendering cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally, and spiritually. The problems in each of these areas results from unmet needs and unresolved painful feelings.

Cognitively, many men with SSA develop beliefs about themselves and the world, and about their places in the world, that are inaccurate and self-defeating. Most significantly, they have the belief that they are homosexual or “gay.” Their perspectives are often full of distortions (inaccurate negative beliefs) and illusions (inaccurate positive beliefs) that prevent them from seeing things as they truly are. Relationship interactions are often misinterpreted. Personal traits (of self and others) are often misperceived. And future possibilities are frequently misunderstood. Additionally, some men with SSA have obsessive or ruminative thought processes that they cannot let go of. Whether or not these are directly linked to homosexuality, they tend slow the change process down. And they often lead to compulsive behaviors, (to be discussed below) further slowing the process of growth.

Emotionally, men with SSA tend to be rigid and narrow in their emotional and relational patterns. They have difficulty shifting from one emotion to another. They may get stuck in anger and be unable to shift from anger into forgiveness or sadness. Or, they may get stuck in depression and be unable to descend below the depression into the anger or grief that lies beneath it. Or they may lock themselves into a defensive posture that prevents them from feeling certain or all feelings. Anxiety, numbing out, superficiality and the subterfuge of the false self are all common defenses.Behaviorally, SSA men tend toward addictions and compulsions. Most commonly, men with SSA are involved in sexual addictions, which may include fantasies, pornography, masturbation, and sex with another person whether live or by electronic means. These behaviors are repeated again and again for the pleasure or relief from pain that they bring. In homosexual relationships, engaging in very specific sexual patterns with specific types of men is often the rule.

Compulsions grow out of obsessive thought patterns and tend to be an attempt to “get it right.” Although only a percentage of SSA men also have full-blown obsessive-compulsive disorder, many SSA men experience obsessions (discussed above) and show tendencies toward compulsive behavior. Repetition compulsions are common, and some would argue ubiquitous, among homosexual men. In a repetition compulsion, the man sets up a situation that repeats a painful dynamic from childhood in an attempt to “get it right.” But the situation merely creates more painful—though familiar—feelings and ends up working as more of a punishment and distraction from moving on with life. He never really allows himself to “get it right.”

Gender-atypical behavior, although seemingly less serious than addictions and compulsions, can nonetheless slow a man’s change process.This is particularly true when the behavior reinforces to the man, or to those around him, that he is unmasculine, effeminate, or gay. Another behavioral problem worthy of mention might be termed “distractive lifestyle.” This refers to a way of living that keeps a man so busy doing unimportant things that he has no time to fall into his underlying pain or grief, or to pursue healing and change. Frequent partying, overworking, and excessive television watching are signs of a “distractive lifestyle.”

Spiritually, the problems tend to involve difficulty trusting something bigger than self and fears about being controlled and being out of control. The man’s deep shame often results in a narcissistic reaction of putting his own ego at the center of his universe. He may be wary of organizations, religion, authority, and power in any form. He may also believe that God has let him down and develop deep resentment toward the Supreme Being. From this position, the man is not open to mentoring, guidance, or inspiration. And he cannot transcend himself for fear of losing control of himself.

How is the principle of Surrender lived?

Cognitively, new mental constructs about self and the world must be acquired; illusions (inaccurate positive beliefs) and distortions (inaccurate negative beliefs) have to be exposed and relinquished. Perhaps the most significant belief about self that must be given away is the man’s belief that he is homosexual or “gay.” I believe that homosexuality cannot be changed without a conscious choice to do so. Often, the most significant belief about others that must be released is the stereotyped perspective of heterosexual men. Deep relationships with other men can help greatly in these processes, especially once trust begins to develop. Trust itself is a surrender of defensiveness and it opens the man to seeing other views of life that will challenge and correct his own. Sometimes, cognitive therapeutic processes must be employed to stop or reduce the obsessive or ruminative thought processes. These generally include an aspect of releasing or relinquishing (letting go) the obsessive thought.

Emotionally, the principle of Surrender begins with letting go of defenses and fully receiving and feeling your emotions. Emotions bring physical sensations and impulses in the body (e.g., anger might bring a pounding heart and an impulse to hit) and understanding to the mind (e.g., anger might bring recognition of the extent of abuse). Men must learn to release the physical sensations and impulses (often called a “charge”) in ways that don’t hurt themselves or others. And they must integrate the new understanding, which creates growth and expansion of emotional capacities. Men in the change process must also surrender emotionally in relationships with trustworthy people by releasing information about themselves, exposing their feelings, and receiving love and affirmation.

Surrendering unhealthful behaviors depends on surrender in the other three areas since addictions and compulsions tend to be based on cognitive, emotional, and spiritual issues. For example, sexual addictions are often held in place by a deep sense of alienation or self-hatred while repetition compulsions are often based in unresolved traumatic parent-child interactions. Working through and surrendering these underlying issues can have a dramatic impact on the addiction or compulsion. Even so, additional behaviorally based or 12 Step work is often required to fully overcome the addiction or compulsion.

Similarly, gender-atypical behavior is essentially a reflection of underlying issues involving the man’s self-perception. Emotional and cognitive surrender (as described above) is the pathway to deep changes in self-perception. At the same time, consciously surrendering non-masculine behaviors and adopting gender-typical behaviors can be quite helpful in the overall process. Finally, surrendering a “distractive lifestyle” necessitates emotional surrender but also usually requires a purely behavioral intervention to help the man change his pattern.

Spiritual surrender may be done as one powerful act of faith—willingly letting go the control of your life, trusting that something bigger than you will benevolently step in. Some men can do this. Other men can only spiritually surrender a bit at a time as they gradually feel greater trust through successful experiences with powers greater than their own, whether that power is seen as the natural change process or as God. For many religious men, the love shared between them and God creates a willingness and desire to surrender. Whether done at once or through many small decisions, spiritual surrender requires a recognition that you are a smaller force in the universe and that there is some force greater than yourself that wants your wellbeing.

Spiritual surrender also involves seeking transcendence. By this I mean, seeking to rise above where you have been, looking within yourself for more mature responses, and going to sources higher than yourself for guidance and inspiration.

CONCLUSION

The Four Principles of Change are useful because they are easily understood and implemented by men in the change process. They also provide a paradigm for therapists that can be applied in very specific ways to a full range of issues facing all men in the process.

To me, “change” means that growth toward mature masculinity and heterosexuality is resumed and completed. Growth needs optimal circumstances to proceed. My hope in splitting out the whole growth process into the four Principles of Growth is to empower us to create whole growth processes and optimal circumstances for change.


"You can't solve a problem on the same level that it was created. Youhave to rise above it to the next level." - Albert Einstein



"I generally find that comparison is the fast track to unhappiness. No one ever compares themselves to someone else and comes out even. Nine times out of ten, we compare ourselves to people who are somehow better than us and end up feeling more inadequate."

Jack Canfield



"I believe that people make their own luck by great preparation and good strategy."

Jack Canfield



“Why do I exist?” That is a question very few ever ask themselves. They would not have a ten-cent gadget in their homes for five minutes without knowing its purpose, but they will go through life without knowing why they are living. Until we answer that question there is no question worth answering; and the way we answer it determines our character in this world and our destiny in the next. … The best way of finding out why a thing was made is to go to its maker. “Why did God make you?” and the Maker gives the answer: “God made me to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him in this world, and to be eternally happy with Him in the next.”

~ Fulton J. Sheen, Freedom Under God, True Liberty (1940/2013) p. 22-23. [“Question 6” of the Baltimore Catechism]



What I Have Learned

This is a letter D. wrote to us after having been in a Homosexuals Anonymous online-group for quite some time:



What I have Learned

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

I have exercised a lot of self control for about six weeks and now in the past two weeks I have been inundated with knowledge.  Some of it is encouraging and some of it depressing. My wife's hurt and pain at my hands has been far greater than I realized.  Some of that hurt may not ever heal.  What healing will happen will take a long time. I have learned that I am a sexual addict, that I have used sex like a drug to escape, that escape has caused shame and separation from emotional connection with others, which has created an intense need to escape which has led to a vicious cycle. I have learned that porn is a false intimacy without the risk of real relationship. I have learned that the appeal of risk free false intimacy comes out of a deep self loathing and an expectation of rejection and abandonment and that these expectations flow out of my interpretive memory of and lessons of my infancy and childhood. I have learned that I have traded real intimacy with real people for false intimacy in the form of fantasy or porn or masturbation. I have learned that the bible likens that to storing water is leaky cisterns. I have learned that only Jesus can give me living water that satisfies. I have learned that my emotional dependency is not an issue that originates in my father but in my mother. I have learned that many of the things I am upset with my father about were decisions participated in by my mother. I have learned that I have mother as well as father hunger. I have learned that the emotional issues are going to be harder to deal with than the sexual issues. I have learned that what I have done with friends is classical emotional dependence, it is destructive, selfish, manipulative, and just really really wrong. I have learned it is a compulsion that is driven both psychologically and spiritually and I don't have a chance of overcoming it on my own. I have learned that I may have strong sexual drive toward men for the rest of my life and may have to work really hard at controlling those urges and my lust for the rest of my life. I have learned that I may have this deep need for someone (male) to love me (non sexually)for the rest of my life and as a result have to work hard to keep relationships balanced for the rest of my life.

I learned from my reaction to the testimony of one of the guys at group that if I had ever been offered an emotionally close friendship with someone and then that someone then wanted more, that I probably could not have resisted. I have learned that I long for that kind of emotionally close friendship where another guy pursues me.I have learned that I am a narcissist - that I want someone to worship me - and that I am sexually drawn to a person who looks a great deal like I looked at 18 - except for higher percentages of muscle to body fat and larger endowments.  That may simply be the result of watching porn and seeking out idealized versions of myself. I have learned that I am deeply sensitive to the idea of rejection by any of the guys at group, far more than I would have imagined.  I think this is deeply rooted in my desire to be emotionally dependent on another - to hand over to another power over my own sense of well being.  To have someone be my mommy and hold and protect me and love me unconditionally. I have learned from the above that I long to be emotionally dependent on someone. I have learned that emotional dependence is arrested development much like homosexuality is but instead of arresting development at five or six or ten that it is arrested at about two with the kind of trust a child is supposed to learn from the mother never learned and so is infinitely more difficult to overcome. I have learned that what I really so intensely desire and truly need is a legitimate need - an emotional connection, intimacy with others, and that this is going to be really difficult.  I need close satisfying healthy relationships in order to heal but I currently cant experience a relationship that is close enough to be satisfying and yet is still healthy.  I have learned that there is a constant conflict in me between defensive detachment and emotional dependency.  The former creates walls between me and others to protect me from being hurt while the latter causes me to abandon my autonomy and seek my meaning and purpose in some special "other". I have learned that emotional dependency for me sounds like Satan whispering in my ear.  It is basically a lie that I believe about the other person, the situation, and what that other person can do for me and what that other person should do for me.  That voice is beginning to be recognizable as someone other than my own voice or the voice of God. I have learned that I have had a twisted view about what normal guys achieve.  I imagined that when a man falls in love with a woman that the emotions he experiences have the same intensity as my neurotically driven emotional dependency and the sex has the same intensity as my neurotically driven sexual addiction.  I always thought that combination was the romantic ideal available to normal men.  I think I now realize that would be crazy and a doomed relationship. I have learned that I have no idea what a healthy sexual or emotional relationship looks like, well I have an idea it is just that I don't see how it could be very satisfying. I have learned that it is a mercy that God did not zap me and cure the surface problem of SSA because I could never muster the courage and strength to deal with these other issues if God did. I have learned that I do have friends, good friends, more than one, and that although I constantly hear voices telling me these friendships are not what they should be I also know that they are very good and that almost all of the logical rational criticisms I have of those friendships are not rational at all but lies.  I have learned that keeping those thoughts that my friends are not really friends of any quality but mere acquaintances is just as difficult a mental discipline as not having sexual fantasy. I have learned that when I am in really close fellowship with Jesus, where I sense His intimate presence and I experience that daily, none of this is really all that difficult to deal with, and when He is not present and I am not in close fellowship with Jesus that all this is impossible to deal with.
I have learned that His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.


(used with permission)


"By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you've achieved - and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses - you actually can enhance everything about you. Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments."

Jack Canfield



Go big! There is nothing I dislike more than passive people that are constantly whining and pitying themselves and put the blame for their miserable life on others. People that have no fire or dreams and visions inside, that wait for others to provide for them and pull them out of the mud. What a life is that. Dare to go for the alternative: Life is a daily adventure. Go big! Dream big! Your dreams and visions should never bee too low. What's the point if you have a tiny goal and reach it - as opposed to having a huge goal and reaching "only" fifty percent of it - which is still way beyond option #1. Stop pitying yourself. If you keep on blaming others for what's going wrong in your life, there will never be any change or progress. You canl only change yourself. Other people usually are beyond your reach and responsability. Have visions! See yourself standing on top with the medal around your neck! Get the feeling for it and act as if you already have it! Don't be shy asking others for help. Most of all: Go new ways. Things will never change if you always do what you've always done. Don't be a copy of somebody else as everyone around you is already taken. Find your own way and learn to think and act completely different from everybody else! God has provided each one of us with passions and talents. Go for it! What do you have to loose - as opposed to the many things you could gain! And if you stumble and fall on your butt, get up again! There is nothing wrong with falling, but a lot with staying on the floor! Get into the ring and become a fighter! God needs courageous men and women who know what they want and are willing to give it their all to get it! Go big -and go now!!

Robert



From Homosexuals Anonymous:



What are the factors to be successful?


Learning the difference between what is right and what is wrong.

Being lost and then being found.

Sticking to your goals

Getting a new identity through Christ Our Savior

Accepting my manhood of my man self

Reading the good book. The Bible for instructions.

Learning we have a heavenly Father who watches over us

Repentance

Changing your life style

A good support group

Prayer

Having goals

Having faith

Having friends who encourage & support you

doing the steps

Reading the manual

Keeping away from people who do not support you

Praise & Worship

Fasting

Congregating with fellow believers

Accepting your manhood

(From Y., one of our members)


"Write your goals down in detail and read your list of goals every day. Some goals may entail a list of shorter goals. Losing a lot of weight, for example, should include mini-goals, such as 10-pound milestones. This will keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want step by step."

Jack Canfield


"Working with people from all walks of life, from full-time moms to CEOs at large companies, I've distilled many universal truths about success. There's a secret I've learned that works quite well at helping you to achieve what you want: Decide what you want."

Jack Canfield


"Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them."

Jack Canfield



Why is the only condition we have on someone who wants to join Homosexuals Anonymous the will to be free? Because without it everything else would be futile. You have to know what you want and you have  to really want it. You need a passion to go for your goal, no matter what. If there are no emotions involved and you try to reach a goal simply through a change of cognitive thinking patterns, or because someone else wants you to and you have not the slightest wish to do so, this only become negative stress for you. It is all about how you see and evaluate this goal of being free of same-sex attractions and the way that leads to that. For some it is a drag, a pain in the butt. For others the same tools are an exciting challenge.

Think about it.

Rob



"If you go to a tree with an ax and take five whacks at the tree every day, it doesn't matter if it's an oak or a redwood; eventually the tree has to fall down."

Jack Canfield