The Management of Homosexuality Using Multimodal Therapy: A Case Study

By Charles, Umeh | Ife Psychologia, March 2009 | Go to article overview

The Management of Homosexuality Using Multimodal Therapy: A Case Study


Charles, Umeh, Ife Psychologia


Abstract

The study examined the efficacy of multimodal therapy in the management of homosexuality in a 35 - year - old man, using a single N or case study design. Clinical interview, EPQ (adult), SCL-90, MFS, MSI and ISE were administered to establish base-line data. Anxiety, depression, marital distress and low self-esteem were identified as correlates of the client's condition. Multimodal therapy was instituted thereafter. The result after three months of treatment showed reduction in sexual attraction for men, increased attraction to females, reduced frequency of masturbation, lowered marital distress and improved psychological well - being. The results were discussed in the light of the controversies surrounding the treatment of homosexuality.

Introduction

Sexuality is one of the most personal and generally private areas of an individual's life. Everybody according to Davidson, Neale and Kring (2004) is a sexual being with preferences and fantasies that may surprise or even shock people from time to time.

However, the society has in one way or another always tried to control what an acceptable level of sexual practices should be. In spite of this stern control of sexual practices by the society mainly founded on religious beliefs and cultural principles, some people have found joy in expressing their sexual orientation and identity while others, it is a case of being trapped in a wrong body. Michael, Gagnon, Laumann and Kolata (1994) defined sexual orientation as a consistent pattern of sexual arousal toward persons of the same or a different gender, encompassing fantasy, conscious attractions, emotional and romantic feelings and sexual behaviours. It describes a person's underlying sexual preference. Persons who are sexuality attracted to members of the other sex are termed heterosexual. In contrast, persons who are attracted to members of the same sex have a homosexual orientation. Most homosexual men use the term gay, whereas most homosexual females prefer the term lesbian. Other people are attracted to varying extents to both members of their sex and members of the other sex. When this is the case, the sexual orientation is termed bisexuality. Over the years, the society has been in strong support of heterosexual orientation while homosexuality has been seen as abnormal until recently. This study is focusing on a case of homosexual orientation that is beginning to affect the general functioning of a young man, with the intention of alleviating his problems through psychological intervention.

Homosexuality

Lahey (2001) defines homosexuality as being romantically and sexually attracted to people of the same sex. This phenomenon of homosexuality is one that has endured, to a greater or lesser extent throughout all societies from the ancient Greeks and beyond to the present day (Bullough, 1976). This practice has been vilified or dignified, depending on particular cultural mores. For instance, Ancient Greek is justifiably cited as a civilization in which homosexual love flourished and was celebrated. In contrast, in early imperial Rome, homosexuality was common and fashionable but was not held in such esteem. In fact, homosexual acts took their place among the debaucheries and tortures that were practiced (Davidson and Neale, 1974). Among professionals, homosexuality was considered pathological and was listed in DSM II as one of the sexual deviations. In 1973, the Nomenclature Committee of the American Psychiatric Association, under pressure from many professional and gay activists groups recommended to the general membership the elimination of the category from DSM. The members of the psychiatric association voted on the issue, and the change was approved, but not without vehement protests from several renowned psychiatrists who remained convinced that homosexuality reflects a fixation at an early stage of psychosexual development and is therefore inherently abnormal. The controversy however continued but by the time DSM III was published in 1980, it becomes increasingly clear that the new nomenclature would maintain the tolerant stance toward homosexuality. …

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