Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2014

CONTACT
Sara Elizabeth
ihfinfo@ComingOutLoved.com
301-805-6111

What Exactly is Maryland Delegate Jon Cardin Hiding?
Maryland Official Cites Pedophile Murder Case to Withhold Information from the Public

Bowie, MD -- Today, International Healing Foundation (IHF), a non-profit therapeutic organization in Bowie, MD expressed disappointment in Maryland Delegate Jon Cardin’s lack of transparency with the public. In a March 27 letter in response to IHF’s allegations of defamation and misconduct in reference to HB 91, a bill that sought to take away the rights of minor clients to seek counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA), Delegate Cardin stated: “I welcome any investigations you or your lawyers wish to pursue,” yet when IHF submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for key documents that would reveal any illegal or improper conduct on the Delegate’s part, he refused to release them, citing Maryland “legislative privilege.”

Click here to read the letter from Del. Jon Cardin to IHF, refusing to hand over public documents.

In making his claim for legislative privilege, Cardin relies on a pedophile murder case in order to withhold information from the public. He cites Hamilton vs. Verdow, in which a pedophile molested and murdered two young boys in 1980. At the time, the Maryland Attorney General refused to hand over documents on the pedophile, asserting that they were privileged by law. The court agreed with Maryland and went so far as to cite the United States vs. Nixon case in favor of privilege. This doctrine is also referred to as a “privilege for governmental secrets.”

“It is ironic for Delegate Cardin to cite a pedophile murder case in order to justify the withholding of documents that could, in fact, help young people in Maryland heal from the trauma of child molestation,” commented Christopher Doyle, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Director of IHF. “In nearly twenty-five years, our clinic has witnessed that approximately half of our clients who seek therapy for unwanted homosexual feelings have a history of childhood sexual abuse that may have contributed to their unwanted same-sex attraction.”

Research published in the scientific peer-reviewed literature demonstrates a link between childhood homosexual molestation and later development of same-sex attraction for some individuals. For example, a 2001 study in the prestigious Archives of Sexual Behavior found that among 942 participants, forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation, while twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to 1% of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation.

“In the effort to encourage full disclosure and accountability of state public officials, Cardin should release the documents requested to promote the public interest and safety of children in Maryland. There should be no governmental secrets about our children,” commented Doyle.


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International Healing Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization serving the LGBT community, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families. Since 1990, it has helped thousands of individuals, families, and communities struggling with sexual orientation. For more information, visit: www.ComingOutLoved.com


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2014

CONTACT
Sara Elizabeth
ihfinfo@comingoutloved.com
301-805-6111

International Healing Foundation Demands Answers from Md. Delegate Jon Cardin
Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Attorneys to Investigate Defamation and Discriminatory Conduct


Bowie, MD -- International Healing Foundation (IHF), a non-profit therapeutic organization based in Bowie, Maryland is demanding answers from Md. Del. Jon Cardin, who recently introduced, then withdrew, HB 91, which proposed banning licensed mental health practitioners in Maryland from helping minor clients who seek to resolve unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA).

Since 1990, IHF has helped thousands of individuals with unwanted SSA and families struggling with sexual orientation, but on at least two separate occasions, Del. Cardin made defamatory statements about the organization in reference to HB 91. With the help of Garza Regan & Associates, Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Attorneys in Maryland, IHF is launching an investigation into Cardin’s activities with Equality Maryland and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“For nearly 25 years, IHF has been a beacon of hope in Maryland and around the world helping individuals conflicted about their sexual orientation. Our reputation is spotless in the state of Maryland. There has never been one complaint to the state licensing board over our therapeutic services. Why then, is Del. Cardin discouraging Maryland families struggling with homosexuality to seek help from us,” commented Christopher Doyle, licensed clinical professional counselor and the Director of IHF. “Cardin’s statements regarding our work with those who experience unwanted SSA is equivalent to discrimination. We support the rights of all clients, gay-identified and those who experience unwanted SSA – however, Del. Cardin’s actions appear to be motivated by politics, not fairness for all Marylanders.”

IHF offers psychotherapy for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community as well as for those who experience unwanted SSA. Clients, including minors, set the goals for therapy, and the counseling is always focused on their stated objectives. For more information on IHF’s treatment guidelines, visit: www.ComingOutLoved.com.

After withdrawing HB 91, Cardin publicly spoke against IHF and pledged to work with state boards that govern therapeutic practices to change administrative policies, but did not go into specifics as to what policies he would seek to change.

“Del. Cardin should not interfere with the business of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in order to appease Equality Maryland and others who seek to violate the rights of clients with unwanted SSA,” commented Doyle. “It is outrageous that a state-elected official would discourage, or believe it’s a problem, for a sexual minority population to pursue a therapy that is both legal and ethical,” commented Doyle.

In a March 14 press conference, Cardin stated the need for increased regulation around Sexual Orientation Change Effort therapy for minors because of his view that changing sexual orientation is harmful, yet failed to provide any scientific evidence to back up his claims, nor could he point to any such minors in Maryland who have allegedly been harmed by a licensed mental health practitioner.

“Del. Cardin should speak with the countless adolescents and families who have been helped, not harmed, by IHF since 1990. His statements marginalize former homosexuals and clients in Maryland who have unwanted SSA and seek change through their own volition. Instead of persecuting them, Cardin should actually sit down with these individuals to see how he could truly serve them. Everyone should be able to pursue the life that feels right to them, and this effort to defame our work and discriminate against children and families who are simply trying to live out their sincerely held values and beliefs is wrong,” commented Doyle.

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For more information on the International Healing Foundation, visit: www.ComingOutLoved.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 8, 2014

CONTACT
Sara Elizabeth
ihfinfo@comingoutloved.com
301-805-6111

International Healing Foundation Urges Maryland Legislature To Put Client Rights First Politically Motivated Legislation to Ban Therapy for Minors Lacks Scientific Credibility

Bowie, MD -- Today, Delegate Jon Cardin introduced House Bill 91, legislation that would ban minors in the state of Maryland from seeing a licensed mental health practitioner to resolve unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA). International Healing Foundation (IHF), a non-profit organization that has since 1990, helped thousands of individuals and families struggling with sexual orientation issues, strongly opposes this legislation and is asking the Maryland Legislature to consider all viewpoints and review all the research on the efficacy of Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) therapy.

“There is not one single peer-reviewed scientific study that has researched the outcomes of minors that have undergone SOCE therapy, yet this legislation makes unfounded claims that SOCE therapy is harmful and ineffective,” commented Christopher Doyle, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and the Director of IHF. “As a practicing attorney, it is Delegate Cardin’s ethical duty to consider all the evidence before introducing a bill that would take away the rights of minors and their parents to see a counselor of their choice.”

The legislation comes at the heels of a groundbreaking new book by Dr. James Phelan, published on January 1, 2014 entitled: “Successful Outcomes of Sexual Orientation Change Effort Therapy: An Annotated Bibliography.” Over the decades, various authors have documented successful outcomes of efforts aimed at helping clients overcome unwanted homosexual feelings, attractions, and identification. This book, citing 100 years of scientific research, is the first of its kind revealing a comprehensive bibliographic review of the literature documenting success, showing that therapy has helped some clients resolve their unwanted SSA and experience heterosexual attractions.

“House Bill 91 relies exclusively on policy statements from so-called mainstream mental and medical health organizations such as the American Psychological Association (APA), who formed a Task Force in 2009 made up exclusively of gay-identified and gay-affirming psychologists. Not only did the Task Force refuse to include psychologists and licensed psychotherapists that actually worked with clients undergoing SOCE therapy and/or were former homosexuals, but all of the members of this Task Force had previously gone on the record as opposing SOCE therapy for philosophical and political reasons,” commented Doyle.

The APA Task Force report advised parents to avoid SOCE therapy for their children, and House Bill 91 chose only to include the APA and other so-called mainstream mental and medical health organizations' opinions, while ignoring the recommendations from the American Association of Christian Counselors, National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, Catholic Medical Association, and the American College of Pediatricians, all who support a client’s right to resolve unwanted SSA and for parents to decide what medical and mental health treatment is best for their family and children. Collectively, these organizations comprise over 50,000 licensed mental and medical health practitioners, but have been completely marginalized by House Bill 91.

“What the Task Force report actually said was that there is inadequate research to make conclusions on the efficacy and safety of SOCE therapy, and because of the methodological limitations of the research on SOCE therapy, it may pose health risks,” commented Doyle. “Bill 91’s interpretation of the APA report’s conclusions is inaccurate, and we are calling on the APA to correct those inaccuracies, as it states in their own 2002 Code of Conduct: ‘When its research is misinterpreted or misquoted, it (APA) should take reasonable steps to correct the misinterpretation’.”

“House Bill 91 threatens clients’ constitutional rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and their first amendment rights to see a counselor who helps them resolve unwanted SSA while remaining faithful to their deeply held spiritual beliefs. All parents, children, and families in Maryland deserve the right to pursue their own self-determination and should not be forced to choose between their counselor and their faith values.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 CONTACT:
June 21, 2013                                                                                           IHFinfo@comingoutloved.com
301-805-6111

Largest Christian Ministry Helping Individuals Leave Homosexuality Shuts Down
Despite the Closing of Exodus, International Healing Foundation Remain Steadfast

Bowie, MD - On June 19, 2013 Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, the largest Christian ministry assisting individuals who wish to leave the homosexual life, announced that it is closing its doors and apologized to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community for years of messages that people with same-sex attraction could change through prayer, counseling, and spiritual devotion.

It is saddening that Exodus, under its current leadership, has made statements over the efficacy of Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) when many of its same-sex attracted (SSA) leaders have failed to undergo such treatment themselves. Such leaders are also unqualified to make these statements due to their lack of training and education in the psychological field.

Out of respect for Alan Chambers and the work of Exodus, International Healing Foundation (IHF) has refrained from making public statements over the last few years against Exodus during their transitional time, despite what we believe have been significant errors and misjudgment on their part on the nature of sexual orientation change. However, we have and continue to remain steadfast in our belief that real change in sexual orientation is possible, based on hundreds of our own client outcomes, thousands of testimonies circulating in popular culture, and one hundred years of psychological and scientific reports published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

This is not to say that some clients that have undergone SOCE have failed to achieve change. Perhaps some of these clients genuinely believe they have been harmed; and that is not inconsistent with others forms of psychotherapy, whose outcomes report that 5-10 percent of clients have felt harmed by their treatment experience. Such outcomes are tragic, yet inevitable. What is even more tragic, however, is the message sent by the current leadership of Exodus, that attempts to change sexual orientation are inherently harmful and ineffective. Such statements, whether implicit or explicit, are unscientific, inaccurate, and discouraging to the thousands of persons who are distressed by unwanted SSA and seek help from qualified mental health practitioners.

IHF has always operated as a scientific and therapeutic organization, but we see the value in referring our clients to faith-based ministries, such as those that have operated under the Exodus umbrella, for support, encouragement, and accountability. It saddens us that Exodus, who has offered hope to so many for thirty-seven years, is shutting down. What is even more distressing is the message that Exodus, under its current leadership, has been sending to individuals who are conflicted, confused, and/or unhappy over their unwanted SSA; mainly, that 99.9% of people do not change their homosexual feelings.

What is perhaps the most discouraging element in the evolution of Exodus is the lack of persistence among leadership to understand their own internal meaning and causes of unwanted SSA. It is our clinical experience that when such persons do not fully explore and work through their own psychological drives that cause SSA, real and lasting change often does not occur. It appears this is also true for the current leadership of Exodus, especially when such statements as “99.9% do not change . . .”

Since 1990, IHF has operated as a scientific and psychological-based non-profit organization that offers psychotherapy, counseling, coaching, and education over the development of same-sex attraction, and the treatment for clients with unwanted SSA who wish to resolve those feelings and pursue heterosexuality. Over twenty-three years of work, our therapists, counselors, and coaches have helped thousands of individuals who experience unwanted SSA resolve those feelings and pursue their heterosexual potential. We have also helped countless parents and family members reconcile their relationships with LGBT-identified loved ones.

IHF recognizes that sexuality and sexual orientation is a complex and multi-faceted part of an individual’s composition, and involves more than just sexual arousal, behaviors, feelings, and desires. Sexual orientation is influenced by attachment, bonding, and other psychological drives, as well as an individual’s temperament, environment, culture, and psychosocial experiences, among other factors. Change in sexual orientation, namely from a homosexual to a heterosexual orientation, is not easy, and is not necessarily binary.

Some clients may experience a complete resolution of their unwanted SSA over the course of therapy, while others may experience smaller, significant changes on a continuum; still others may fail to achieve progress towards reducing SSA and increasing heterosexual feelings, despite considerable effort. Such experiences are consistent with a wide range of clinical issues that clients seek professional help from, with varying outcomes ranging from client to client.

It must also be noted that certain co-occurring disorders may affect a client’s progress towards reducing unwanted SSA and achieving heterosexuality; therapists, counselors, and coaches operating within the IHF network should always share such information with their clients at the outset of treatment, pursue supervision when such cases present challenges, and refer clients to higher-qualified therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists when complex issues arise outside their area of expertise and practice. Most importantly, however, is that a client’s right of self-determination be respected as they seek to work through complex issues of sexuality; IHF maintains and holds this principle at the foundation of its work.

Despite the fact that Exodus will cease to exist in its current form, I hope that the Board and leadership of Exodus will find their way in this complex discussion and debate on homosexuality. Despite my judgment of Alan Chamber’s professional leadership, I continue to hold him, his wife Leslie, and his family in my highest regard as they find their way. Even though we fundamentally disagree on some aspects of this issue, I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Alan’s authenticity and desire to seek truth, wherever that may lead him. I am also confident that the work in which Exodus International started nearly forty years ago will be improved though organizations such as IHF, NARTH, Evergreen International, JONAH, People Can Change, and the newly formed Restored Hope Network.

Sincerely Yours,

Christopher Doyle, M.A.
Director
International Healing Foundation
www.ComingOutLoved.com

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CONTACT:                                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Greg Quinlan, Citizens Against the                     MAY 2, 2013
Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act
Phone: 800-632-0967
E-mail: gquinlan@njfpc.org

John Tomicki, Citizens Against the
Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act
Phone: 201-725-2154
E-mail: jtomicki1@aol.com

Press Advisory

Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act
New Jersey Creating Victims Just Like Jerry Sandusky Did

Trenton, NJ, May 2, 2013 – Citizens Against the Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act, also known as Senate Bill 2278, will hold a press conference on May 6, 2013 at the State House Building in Trenton, NJ (Room #209) to announce major developments in the fight to stop this destructive legislation, which threatens to further harm victims of sexual abuse from Pedophiles such as Jerry Sandusky, who seek to resolve unwanted same-sex attractions with the help of licensed mental health providers.

Time: May 6, 2013 @ 11:30 AM, EST
Location: New Jersey State House Building
125 West State Street
Trenton, NJ, 08625
Room #209



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 1, 2013

CONTACT: 301-805-6111
IHFinfo@ComingOutLoved.com

Press Release

Change of Leadership for International Healing Foundation Latin America

After six wonderful years of devoting her time and effort to collaborate with the International Healing Foundation (IHF), Desiree Carlson is stepping down as IHF Mexico and Latin America Director in order to pursue her own project with Corazon en Movimiento fulltime. IHF appreciates her loving service and looks forward to the next chapter of Desiree’s work in Mexico and Latin America.

Desiree Carlson is currently finishing her second master’s degree in existential therapy and has decided to expand her work and vision of psychotherapy through Corazon en Movimiento, a therapeutic organization that works with people wishing to explore alternatives for their same-sex attraction and those who wish to explore more alternatives of life through psychotherapy. Corazon en Movimiento will exist independent from the International Healing Foundation. For more information and to contact Desiree, please visit her web www.corazonenmovimiento.com.mx and/or email: desiree_carlson@hotmail.com or corazonenmovimiento1@hotmail.com.

If you are a psychotherapist in Mexico with a heart for working with people who experience unwanted same-sex attraction, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community, and their loved ones, we are currently accepting applications for a new Director of IHF Mexico and Latin America. Special preference will be given to psychotherapists who work and/or live in Mexico City, Mexico. For more details, please contact our office at IHFinfo@ComingOutLoved.com.