Dangerous ‘Ex-Gay’ Organization NARTH Accredited by California Board of Behavioral Sciences for License Renewals


The California Board of Behavioral Sciences lists "ex-gay" organization National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) (you may recall that dangerous "ex-gay" quack Dr. George Alan Rekers sat on its board) as an accredited organization from which Licensed Educational Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers can receive credits toward license renewal.

From a reader:

I was wondering if you could help me raise awareness about in issue. I am a Licensed Educational Psychologist here in Los Angeles. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences is responsible for licensing LEPs, MFTs, and LCSWs here in California.  I was recently looking at BBS website in order to determine which organizations I could obtain my continuing education credits from in order to renew my license. Much to my shock and sadness, the BBS accepts CEUs from NARTH. I am absolutely appalled. No therapist in California should be able to renew their license by obtaining CEUs from this hateful organization. "Homosexual conversion therapy" is not supported by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, or the American Counselors Association. I have written the the BBS with my concerns, but I have not heard back. Could you help me bring attention to this issue? We need to get them removed from this list ASAP.

Here's a PDF of the CE Provider list as of May 1, 2011, from the CBBS.

NARTH is #1240 on the list.

Here's info for those of you interested in contacting the BBS about this dangerous inclusion.

Per comments, the Continuing Education Coordinator for the CBBS can be contacted at Patricia.Fay@dca.ca.gov.

Board of Behavioral Sciences
1625 N Market Blvd., Suite S-200
Sacramento, CA 95834

  • Kim Madsen, Executive Officer
  • Tracy Rhine – Assistant Executive Officer


BBS Main Phone Line: (916) 574-7830
BBS Main Fax: (916) 574-8625


  1. Don says

    The Continuing Education Coordinator for the CBBS can be contacted at Patricia.Fay@dca.ca.gov. Do not use the complaint form Andy links to; that’s for filing a complaint against a specific provider, not against the Board itself.

  2. justme says

    I used the complaint form anyway and filed it against Joseph Nicolosi. I’ll write and call later. Hammering away through every possible complaint venue is sure to get their attention.

    I also used this link as documentation:

  3. John P says

    Homosexuality was considered a mental disease until the 1970s. The classification was changed, not because of new medical or psychiatric research, but because of political lobbying.

    People who come to NARTH, do so willingly. There is no reason NARTH should not continue to be accredited and licensed. To remove it is to try and impose your beliefs on other people – something gay activists fought against, when such judgements worked against them.

    I am not part of NARTH or any ex-gay movement. I am a professional psychologist who counsels men who have been sexually abused, when they were children. Many of these men have very confused sexual feelings. My job isn’t to impose my value system on them but to help them heal, forgive, and to get in touch with their emotional, spiritual, and sexual selves. It is of course a life long journey but my job is start them on their path. Some of these men struggle with unwanted same sex desires. Many have been abused by a male family member they loved and admired. So they have feelings of love for the person who abused them. There first sexual experience was abuse by a trusted family member of the same sex. The vast majority are not gay but because of their experiences have experienced same sex attraction. If they seek help from poorly trained schooled counselors, they are told they need to accept their homosexuality. I have seen men waste a decade of their lives trying to be gay, and finally realising that they aren’t, at an age when it is much harder to have family and children.

    Some I counsel are gay, and they have difficulty with love and sex because of their abuse (just like the straight ones). Many fall into patterns of dating much older men, as they seek to find a partner like their abuser. These unhealthy relationships are validated by gay counselors who tell them the attraction between a Senior citizen and a 19 year old boy is natural. This makes my job much more difficult as I try and encourage them to find partners who aren’t a recreation of their abuser.

    So I don’t favour straight over gay. My job is to help these young men heal and find their true selves. Some gay activists want to force me to counsel every men who comes to me, who has been abused and has a same sex attraction, to accept his “homosexuality”. I can not as an ethical counselor do this, anymore than I could counsel a gay man to become straight.

    I hope my post will help you see the big picture.

  4. Andrew says

    NARTH is more then just a company that uses conversion therapy which has been deemed dangerous by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Counselors Association. So I don’t see how you can say that its just a viewpoint. Conversion therapy is different then helping someone who was molested as a child, and quite frankly sexuality and molestation are two separate issues. I agree you should never counsel someone to accept something they are not, including this ridiculous idea of NARTH. They believe all homosexuals are confused and need to be changed back to straight. The Southern Poverty Law Firm has also posted about them, including an article which was written by a member of NARTH who argued Africans were fortunate to have been sold into slavery, and the civil rights movement was “irrational.” No they should not be accredited.

  5. JB says

    John P – do you know anything about NARTH? You sound sincere when you say that you do not favor straight over gay, and that that kind of bias does not belong in your therapy.

    So what, then, do you think of NARTH’s mission statement?

    “The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is a self described “non-profit, educational organization dedicated to affirming a complementary, male-female model of gender and sexuality”

    These people are bigots, plain and simple. It is an outrage.

  6. Adrian says

    Based on your first paragraph, you are a misguided individual, John P. Political lobbying, whatever you call it, doesn’t change the fact that classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder is wrong and morally reprehensible.

    NARTH is a harmful organization pretending to help people. You’re part of it, John P, whoever you claim to be.

  7. Adrian says

    And just for that post, John P., I’m going to spend the time writing a letter of complaint.

  8. Rowan says

    John P,

    How is this a viewpoint? How can you have an opinion on this after that man killed himself and Rekers who was on the board of NARTH was the one who apparently ‘cured’ him?

    Yeah, but I’m sure you sleep well at night anyhow. You guys always do.

  9. JB says

    Also, John P – I assume you are straight.

    Trust me on this one: It’s not gay people that need the help seeing the “big picture”

  10. Dr. Jason Patton, LPC-S says

    I sent this to the board as well as fellow members of the ACA:

    Dear CA Board:

    I am a counselor educator for an online university, teaching students from across the nation and world. We have many students in California. We were so excited to hear that CA had joined the rest of the nation in accepting counselors for licensure. However, it seems that some things still need further consideration. I have learned that you have approved the organization known as National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) for CEU credits. This is more than an oversight–this is in direct contradiction with the will of the American Counseling Association (ACA) (as well as other professional organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and so forth).

    You owe it to professionals in your state to only support sound research, and all of the aforementioned organizations have categorically debunked the “research” put forth by NARTH–to not do so risks putting clients in your state at risk. Please follow the ACA’s example by removing them from your list of associated providers.

    Please note: I will be forwarding this note to other members of ACA for their review and comment.


    Jason Patton, PhD, LPC-S

  11. The Milkman says

    John P,

    I am a health care provider as well, and am concerned about your seemingly blithe willingness to accept any information from NARTH as being appropriate continuing education materials.

    You aren’t fooling anyone with your post here. It sounds all well and good to offer counseling to people who have sexual issues related to childhood abuse. I don’t think anyone would really classify those people as being gay, any more than we would classify people who had same-sex experiences in prison as being gay. You can’t possibly think that NARTH is capable of producing anything other than hateful misinformation regarding GLBT people. Their leaders have been shown to be frauds, their publications have been shown to be junk research at best, and their organization has close ties to SPLC-certified hate groups. Even if one thinks that homosexuality is a pathology, any respectable professional would agree that such an organization is an inappropriate platform for continuing education services. I doubt anyone asks racist organizations or anti-semites to provide CEUs, and for good reason.

    The fact that you think that homosexuality was removed from the DSM is because of political lobbying shows that you have a very dim view of your colleagues and your profession’s commitment to evidence-based practice. The DSM revision was due to an increased understanding of gay people in the absence of religious and cultural bias. The stark fact of the matter is that homosexuality is not a disease, and has not been considered a disease for 40 years. I don’t know how long you’ve been practicing, but you clearly need to come to terms with this and try to understand the difference between people who have been abused and people who are just gay.

    Further, your assertion that people who come to NARTH do so willingly is patently false. People who are struggling with homosexuality and come to NARTH for conversion therapy are simply acting out in response to religious, familial, and/or social discriminatory pressure, and you know it. Objecting to NARTH as a CEU provider isn’t imposing our beliefs on anyone. In fact, belief has nothing to do with medical care. Medical practice is based on evidence… there’s a big difference between belief and knowledge. People used to believe that the world was flat. I choose to act based on evidence, and the best available evidence shows us that the entire reason for NARTH’s existence is simply to promote hatred and misinformation about a minority group.

    NARTH has no interest in helping anyone come to terms with their sexual orientation and live life as a proud GLBT person. And if you think that CEUs from such a place would help you in your clinical practice, then you’re likely not much better than they are. How many truly gay people have you treated? You know, the onese who AREN’T victims of sexual abuse? Do you even know?

  12. TJ says

    Reading this comment thread and the great, well-reasoned posts in response to John P reminds me why I like this site so much. Sexual abuse and sexual orientation are different matters. Thanks to all for the clarification.

  13. justme says

    @John P: tl;dr.

    Looks like The Milkman and others have taken you down, though. You should be ashamed of yourself for promoting hatred and causing harm to children as well as causing children to harm themselves.

    But your kind can’t feel shame, can they?

  14. GregV says

    @John P: Mental illness are in this day and age classified as such with scientific evidence to back such a classification.

    Homosexuality was never classified as a mental illness because of any scientific reasons whatsoever; it was considered as such only for the same types of reasons that other characteristics such as left-handedness had once been considered a mental illness or dark skin color was considered by a huge proportion of white Americans to be a curse. The classification was based only on assumptions that had NEVER been backed by science.

    It was after psychologists such as Dr. Evelyn Hooker and other who followed her had for the first time sought EVIDENCE that the APA realized that, unlike other conditions in that category, there had never been any reason for homosexuality to be listed in the DSM in the first place.

    As others have noted, none of us here are arguing that anyone who has become confused and hurt by a traumatic experience should be told that he/she is gay (OR straight, for that matter) and certainly no one should be encouraged into unhealthy relationships.

    Traumatized patients should not be told that they “should” be of one sexual orientation or another; they should be guided to recognize whatever kind of relationship is truly healthy for them.

    You talk about straight people who “waste a decade of their life” trying to be gay. I have known such a person. Like many women, he was abused by heterosexual men all her life and she wished she could be gay because she thought that would remove her from the abusive situations. After a decade of TRYING to be gay, she realized that she could not defy her natural orientation and she learned to avoid abusive men and to seek out a healthy relationship with a man.

    But there are FAR MORE people on the other side of the coin (which you did not mention) who waste decades of their lives TRYING to be striaght when they are, in fact, gay.

    You say you do not favor straight over gay, but your comment appears very lopsided.

    If you are truly objective and truly want people to be who they are, you should no more defend NARTH than you would defend some (hypothetical) organization that ignores mainstream science and has as their sole mission to take clients, straight, bi or gay, and try to “rid them” of opposite-sex attractions, while promoting ugly generalizations about opposite-sex relationships.

  15. Jay says

    Wed. 7/13/11 1:58 Pm PDT I just tried to call the CA Board of Behavioral Science. They are not accepting ANY calls because of the high volume of calls received. Am also trying to contact Gov. Brown’s office but keep getting a busy signal. Keep up the pressure to get NARTH off this list.

  16. Andrew says

    Your email has been forwarded to: Kim Madsen, Executive Officer

    for response.

    Please take a few moments to complete our simple satisfaction survey. The survey is accessible from the homepage of the BBS website http://www.bbs.ca.gov

    Thank you for contacting the BBS via email.

    BBS WebMaster
    Board of Behavioral Sciences
    1625 North Market Blvd. Suite S200
    Sacramento, CA 95834
    (916) 574-7830
    (916) 574-8625 (fax)