According to Thaddeus Heffner, MMFT (Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy), Reparative Therapy is one therapeutic approach available to men who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA). Thaddeus Heffner says that the particular clients who seek Reparative Therapy are men who have self-determined to work on diminishing this unwanted SSA, that they might feel more whole as men.
The term Reparative Therapy can often be misunderstood, says Thaddeus Heffner, both within the therapeutic world as well as outside of it. Thaddeus Heffner comments that some would view the words reparative therapy as a pejorative and express that it makes them feel as though they are looked at as “broken, needing to be fixed”. This can often lead to feelings of anger, resentment and even deeper still, sadness, acknowledges Thaddeus Heffner. So what in fact do we mean when we speak of Reparative Therapy?
Thaddeus Heffner explains that Reparative Therapy views homosexuality as an unconscious part of the man seeking out other men, trying to “compensate” for that which he believes he lacks within himself as a man. While the drive itself is seen as healthy, Thaddeus Heffner points out that the way a man responds to this drive can be healthy or unhealthy.
Thaddeus Heffner notes that within reparative therapy homosexuality is not looked at as a root cause, but rather a symptom of root causes: mainly attachment loss and toxic shame. These root causes, adds Thaddeus Heffner, stem from the early formative years of a man’s life, which then effects his relationships later in life: relationships such as parents, siblings, friends and even those of a romantic nature.
The Reparative Therapeutic approach, according to Thaddeus Heffner, seeks to empower clients to harness their drive toward their same gender that they might get their needs met in healthy ways. Thaddeus Heffner believes that in examining the drive more closely we find underneath a variety of needs that men have of each other – approval, affirmation, acceptance, respect, friendship, just to name several.
Thaddeus Heffner suggests that approaching unwanted SSA with Reparative Therapy can result in clients getting their core needs met in healthy ways by other men, attachment to their gender, and ultimately seeing an overall diminishment in their homosexual drive.
Thaddeus Heffner, MMFT sees clients locally in his Brentwood, Tennessee office and Internationally on the web. Please visit http://thaddeusheffner.com to contact Thaddeus Heffner for more information.