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#428467 - 03/20/13 01:11 AM SSA and Therapy
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 397
Loc: Midwest
I was listening to the Dr. Laura show today ( 3/19) and one subject was male victims of CSA. I'm not sure I understood the show, but here's what I remember as being said. The guest was mentioning SSA as a side-effect and it was discussed how SSA is not to be viewed as a bad or evil side effect. Ts are not to mention that SSA is not a deviation from the normal or desired state of an individual. Ts are not to try and counteract the SSA. It's to be treated as the original condition of the brain of the survivor and in a sense encouraged. Did I understand this correctly? Is there anyone who can comment on the accuracy of these statements. I'm really confused on this topic, and I'd like to be sure I understand what Ts can and can't discuss regarding the issue of SSA.
Thanks, DavO

#428469 - 03/20/13 01:32 AM Re: SSA and Therapy [Re: DavoSwim]
Jacob S Offline

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 699
Loc: where the shadows lie
The first thing to recognize is that Dr. Laura Schlessinger's doctorate is in physiology. She is not a medical doctor nor is she a psychologist. She has long been known to hold homosexuality in contempt and has propagated the lie that most homosexuals are also pedophiles.

In short, I wouldn't listen to her advice regarding anything.

I think maybe what you are getting at, though, is whether or not therapists see homosexual attraction as a disorder or a natural state of being. Most therapists see homosexual attraction as perfectly normal unless there is reason to think otherwise. If the patient wants to try to fight SSA, that's something that can be discussed with a T. But a T isn't going to assume being gay is a bad thing. Nor should they.

edit: compulsive or addiction to sexual activity is a different matter and T's will definitely address that as an issue to be worked on.

Edited by Jacob S (03/20/13 01:43 AM)
Nothing there. It subsumed me. Black hole in time and space.

And yet.

It seemed like what I was made for.

to be used.

most natural thing in the world.

#428479 - 03/20/13 04:46 AM Re: SSA and Therapy [Re: DavoSwim]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 1598
Loc: California
2 things:

1. Therapist's jobs are to accept us unconditionally, and avoid enticing feelings of shame about ourselves (we do that to ourselves enough, which drove many of us into therapy in the first place).

2. Homosexual behavior exists in all of nature. Show me the 'psychological damage' in the animals that exhibit homosexual behavior.

Ergo - sexuality and sexual expression is fluid, changing, amorphous, and very diverse. To judge it or shame it only locks in a vicious cycle that we can never climb out of.

Some of us discover an inherent opposite attraction as we recover from CSA. And some of us discover an innate and beautiful same sex attraction. But we can't discover our innateness if we are riddled and smothered in shame.


#428480 - 03/20/13 05:07 AM Re: SSA and Therapy [Re: DavoSwim]
SouthernLaw Offline

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 12
Loc: Arkansas
WOW Magellan!!! .....for what ever reason, your words bore right through me. Thanks.
As a recovering alcoholic and addict, I have found it difficult to learn to live with "feelings". I am still very emotionally "sick". So I am left with the question, "Now what". I can deal with the vicious cycle of being raped then loved but it is the fall out from the past that hurts me today.

#428483 - 03/20/13 05:57 AM Re: SSA and Therapy [Re: DavoSwim]
Publius Offline

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 444
Loc: OH
I am not sure how much I am on the ball here but I am sure one of our resident professionals will chime in at some point. What Jacob and Magellan have said about a therapist's approach to SSA (or anything discussed in therapy) is accurate in my view. They are to listen, answer questions, and use their expertise in order to guide you through your thoughts and feelings without questioning their validity or judging them and only through questions/indirect statements.

I have never seen Dr. Laura's show but from what you wrote it seems suspect to me. Before any meaningful conversation on SSA can be had its defintion must be clear. SSA is not homosexuality or bisexuality. SSA is not the normal sexual "experimentation" that many people explore throughout their lives. SSA as survivors experience it is a compulsive thought pattern that sometimes leads to acting out with members of the same sex despite a heterosexual orientation but most of all a desire not to do so, which often leads to regret. Also, acting out in any way including SSA is not to be encouraged rather it should be understood and treated with compassion. Finally, it is in fact a common side affect of child sex abuse. In my opinion, calling it "same sex attraction" is a terrible misnomer because people outside of the professional/survivors community hear those words and take them literally. Furthermore, and this is troubling, many organizations who view homosexuality/bisexuality as wrong have hijacked this terminology using its scientific visage as validation for their perspective that homosexuality/bisexuality is a curable mental disorder.
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

#428490 - 03/20/13 07:26 AM Re: SSA and Therapy [Re: DavoSwim]
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 397
Loc: Midwest
When I was listening to the Dr Laura show today about SSA and therapy, I listened as a viewer who had experienced SSA and discussed it in therapy. I know I am not an expert at all on the subject nor am I familiar with the training and credentialing processes of clinical psychologists. When I posted the question on the forum, I posed it as though I was asking the question to people who had also listened to the show. This was an error on my part. After I reread my post, I realized that I left out a lot of information and it would be easy to interpret the question differently than what I had intended. I did not do a good job of framing the question at all. When I was done listening to the segment, I was left with the impression that Dr Laura was sympathetic to the issue of SSA. Other listeners may or may not have had the same impression. Furthermore, Dr Laura may or may not have intended to give that impression. This is how miscommunication occurs because the recipient makes conclusions different than what the communicator intended. Again, those were my conclusions. In addition, when the segment was over, I had the impression that within the APA, there are individuals who are responsible for setting the guidelines for therapy. Again, this may or may not be true, and this may or may not have been the intent Dr Laura to communicate this fact/idea. It is only my experience after listening. I thank you Jacob, Magellan and Publius for your responses. I was not aware of Dr Laura's view on the broader subject and without a doubt, her personal philosophy will influence her responses to any subject. I wasn't listening to the show with the idea that I wanted Dr Laura's view on the issue, even though it is totally integrated into the content of her response. I was only listening wanting to learn more about SSA and therapy. However, in order to fully understand the content of the segment, it is vital to know the parameters under which Dr Laura is operating. Knowing this, I will rethink the value of her comments and look for ways that her personal philosophy is affecting her comments. It will certainly impact what I conclude and remember about the subject. Magellan's comments shed new light on the methodology of therapists and help me understand the framework under which they are operating. Finally, Publius' explanation of SSA helps me understand its definition and the ways in which it affects individuals and how those individuals who experience SSA can respond to its existence. Because of your comments, I have gained a more thorough understanding of SSA, how therapists treat their patients in general, how therapists deal with patients and SSA, and, perhaps the most important lesson of all, the pitfalls of radio psychologists. Thank you for responding and I value your comments.

#428531 - 03/20/13 07:18 PM Re: SSA and Therapy [Re: DavoSwim]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: DavoSwim
I'm really confused on this topic, and I'd like to be sure I understand what Ts can and can't discuss regarding the issue of SSA.

Good questions DavO! The confusion that comes with SSA is familiar to many of us survivors.

As others have said, I wouldn't put too much stock in what radio and TV shrinks say. They are entertainers who are in it for the money and fame. But a real practicing therapist should be able to hear about your struggles with this issue, without judgement, and without trying to talk you into one direction or the other. They should be guiding you through the process of sorting it all out. Also note that many T's in general practice are not familiar with how boyhood sexual abuse can impact adult male sexuality. If you sense that this issue is beyond his/her training, then consider seeking a T who specializes in childhood trauma.

For myself I have kind of resolved the issue, first by knowing that all men are capable of all kinds of confusing sexual feelings, but we all have the freedom to choose which we will act upon (note, I'm NOT saying that being Gay is a choice so no flames please). Second, I have considered who I want to spend a lifetime loving and having sex with, and have decided that the answer for me is: a woman. For others the answer may be a man. My suggestion is take your time and don't about sweat this. When you love someone and enjoy sex with them, you will have your answer.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan


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