"If the Torah is So Adamant, Then That Must Mean Something Huge" Series: Toeva
Healing Adam and Steve
(Except one, and that's to use God as your therapist and healer, knowing that it will take time and feature ups and downs.)
And though I have no personal experience with the following resources, they certainly seem worth a try:
1) I guess the most well-known group is JONAH. They deal with healing and support for same-gender attraction and are definitely worth a look. I found their testimonials quite compelling.
2) Reading his articles shows that Dr. Zev Ballen has dealt with the most harrowing traumas and is also the founder of Emuna Therapy.
Additionally, he has also trained many people to be Emuna therapists. A method using genuine emuna is definitely worth a try.
3) I do know that the late Dr. William Glasser had success using his Reality Therapy techniques for this issue (although I suppose you would have to find a Reality therapist nowadays who believes that this issue even needs healing).
4) As referenced in the section on Reparative/Conversion therapy in Part I, a comprehensive list and description of various practioners, methods, and studies is detailed here.
5) There are likely other options I haven't heard of, so feel free to check this out on your own.
If you're going to go through a therapist or rabbi or some other kind of adviser for this issue, the following qualities are very important:
- The person must be sympathetic.
- There needs to be deep appreciation for the difficulty of this particular nisayon along with the firm belief that success is definitely possible.
- There is absolutely no need for the adviser to display any disgust or harshness or ridicule.
- There should be healthy boundaries during the counseling and absolutely no indication of exploitation of any kind.
Whether you are looking for guidance for yourself or a loved one, it's important to check out the adviser's attitude and track record before putting yourself (or your loved one) in such a vulnerable situation.
Having said all this, in the interest of full disclosure, I no longer believe therapy is as useful as promoted.
Yes, I realize that many people have found therapy very helpful (or at least somewhat helpful), and even though many therapists sincerely mean well and as said, can actually help.
But so much depends on the competency of the therapist, the willingness of the client, and the chemistry between them.
With some beautiful exceptions, it simply hasn't proven to be as beneficial as many believe.
I realize that some people won't or don't know how to start out on their own, with just them and God, so I say the above for their sake.
Trying in some way is a million times better than giving up.
Particularly for men, this is one of the hardest nisayons to deal with.
Even if you rebound or stumble in some way during the process of healing, please remember that every step you take forward is changing the world in ways you can't perceive but for which you will receive unimaginable reward.
Especially in today's world where the entire Western society is saying that this IS good, that this IS natural, that it is your RIGHT, and so on...when you stop yourself from watching, doing, or even thinking anything to do with toeva, you have done something incomprehensibly powerful and good.
Because in today's world, the only reason to take steps toward healing this issue is purely because Hashem said so — solely because you have chosen to what Hashem wants, putting Hashem's desire ahead of your own.
That kind of thing can sweeten even the most firmly set and harshest decree.
This means that no matter who you are and what level you are on, you can prevent a terror attack or avert a any kind of disaster just in the privacy of your own room.
(Needless to say, these are not my own opinions, but are culled from Torah sources.)
Finally, it’s important to remember that this nisayon is from Hashem and dealing with it is somehow for your benefit, painful and frustrating though it may be.
Regardless of what options you choose for yourself or a loved one, it is important to maintain a constant connection with Hashem and a firm belief in His Love for you, no matter how much you stumble.
Hatzlacha Rabbah to everyone.