Our primary goal is to provide clients with a safe and caring environment, free from pressure to conform to political ideologies or religious indoctrination.
The client’s right to determine their own life choices are central to our approach, as we seek to offer people a place where they can explore their feelings and determine how they want to live their lives.
Below are our core guidelines for practitioners operating in this area.
Attitudes Toward Clients in Counselling or Therapy
Guideline 1. Practitioners are encouraged to respect the dignity and self-determination of all their clients and to respect their choices.
Guideline 2. Practitioners are encouraged to recognize the complexity and limitations in understanding the etiology of unwanted sexual behaviours, attractions, and patterns.
Guideline 3. Practitioners are encouraged to understand how their values, attitudes and knowledge about identity and sexuality affect their assessment of and intervention with clients who present with unwanted attractions and behaviors.
Guideline 4. Practitioners are encouraged to respect the value of clients’ religious faith and refrain from making disparaging assumptions about their motivations for pursuing change-oriented interventions.
Guideline 5. At the outset of support or treatment, practitioners are encouraged to provide clients with information on change-oriented processes and intervention outcomes that is both accurate and sufficient for informed consent.
Guideline 6. Practitioners are encouraged to consider and understand the pressures from culture, religion, and family that are confronted by clients who struggle with unwanted sexual attractions or want to explore their identity.
Guideline 7. Practitioners are encouraged to recognize the special difficulties and risks that exist for youth who experience unwanted sexual feelings including same-sex attractions. They should also appreciate the greater fluidity of sexual orientation and identity that appears to exist among young people.
Treatment and Support Considerations for Therapists
Guideline 8. Practitioners are encouraged to utilize accepted psychological approaches to therapeutic interventions.
Guideline 9. Practitioners are encouraged to be knowledgeable about the psychological and behavioral conditions that often accompany gender identity problems and unwanted relational or sexual behaviours, attractions and patterns.
Guideline 10. Practitioners are encouraged to offer or refer clients for relevant treatment services to help them manage their issues.
Guideline 11. Practitioners are encouraged to make reasonable efforts to familiarize themselves with relevant medical, mental health, spiritual, and religious resources that can support clients in their pursuit of change.
Guideline 12. Practitioners are encouraged to increase their knowledge and understanding of the literature relevant to clients who seek change, and to seek continuing education, training, supervision, and consultation that will improve their work in this area.
These above guidelines were adapted from the NARTH Institute Guidelines:
Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Unwanted Same-Sex Attractions and Behavior (2008). www.scribd.com/doc/115508811/NARTH-Institute-Practice-Guidelines
Download PDF here.
IFTCC Principles for Approaches to Transgender Treatments
We maintain that a human being consists of both a physical and a spiritual component, inseparable as a “living soul,” and that the body is to be treated with as much respect as the mind/soul. A person will be most at peace through accepting the biological realities of the body and the outside world. Thoughts and feelings, however significant, do not shape material reality.
- Gender dysphoria is both a multi-factorial adaptation and a mental health diagnosis.
- The natural course of gender dysphoria is desistance by adulthood, which occurs by conservative estimates in 85% of gender dysphoric minors.
- Minors have developing yet immature brains; their minds change often; they are prone to risk taking behavior; they are vulnerable to peer pressure; and they don’t grasp long-term consequences.
- Gender dysphoria carries the overwhelming likelihood of underlying mental health problems, adverse childhood experiences/traumas, family issues, and impressively higher rates of neurodevelopmental issues like autism spectrum disorder, all of which usually predate the onset of gender dysphoria.
- In adults with gender dysphoria, personality disorders are often a factor. If male, autogynephilia (sexual arousal from imagining or adopting of female persona) is common.
- Gender/transition “affirming” medical interventions have not been shown to be superior to skilled mental health interventions.
- Scientific and legal evidence is driving an international pushback against gender/transition “affirming” medical interventions in favor of intensive psychological evaluation and support.
- “The right to align one’s feelings and behaviours to biological sex, in order to live according to the values and beliefs that bring them true happiness, is a human right.” – The International Federation for Therapeutic and Counseling Choice (IFTCC).
- Mental health interventions pose none of the medical risks of gender/transition “affirming” medical and surgical interventions. A healthy body remains intact and functional.
- Skilled, thorough, and ongoing mental health evaluation and support are needed by both the gender dysphoric minor and their families, as well as adults with the issue. They have the same right to access any commonly available treatment modality as any other person.
- Social transitioning — the first of four recognized steps available in gender transition/imitation (social transitioning, puberty blocker use, cross-sex hormone use, and surgery) — is itself recognized as derailing natural desistance in favor of persistence. It has not been proven beneficial. Subversion of natural desistance and the resultant non-beneficence indicates it is to be avoided in minors.
- For once-transitioned individuals who have regret or simply wish to detransition to their natal/biological sex, the help of both an experienced endocrinologist (to address hormonal needs) and a skilled mental health expert are essential.
- Client self-direction in choosing to opt for mental health intervention for gender dysphoria should be professionally and legally protected.
Download PDF here.