Threat to Christian CounselingFebruary 15, 2008
The association with whom I hold charter membership as a counselor (the AACC, American Association of Christian Counselors) has just informed us of a serious threat to the carrying out of our ministries. Here is a portion of a letter we all just received:
Dear Members of the American Association of Christian Counselors:
I want to take this opportunity to share with you an important issue that potentially impacts our profession and may have some far reaching consequences.
In May 2006, the Ethics Committee of the American Counseling Association (not to be confused with our organization, the AACC) issued an opinion which directly questioned the ethical conduct of referring clients to therapists who work with their counselees to live according to a Christian view of sexuality. More specifically, the opinion designated a gay affirmative approach as the only correct ethical stance. Our analysis of the opinion is that it stands in direct opposition to those counselors who work with clients who choose not to affirm homosexuality in their lives. Furthermore, the opinion not only challenges the religious diversity of people, but also undermines a client’s right to self-determination and the freedom of choice when it comes to a therapeutic environment.
Warren Throckmorton, co-chair of the AACC Task Force on Homosexuality, initiated dialogue with the ACA leadership in July 2007. In reviewing ACA policies, Dr. Throckmorton, in consultation with attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund, has determined that the ACA may have actually violated its own policies by accepting and incorporating the Ethics Committee opinion. Dr. Throckmorton has written a formal letter of complaint to current ACA President, Brian Canfield (please click http://www.aacc.net/email/media/ACA_complaint.pdf to download)
This is more serious than many people realize. If this is accepted, then it opens up to lawsuits any Christian counselor who tries to help people who have chosen a homosexual lifestyle. As Dr. Throckmorton has noted, this probably violates the rules of the ACA, but nevertheless, it can greatly hurt the genuine efforts of Christian counselors by threatening to take away any licensing they have through a spurious and vindictive lawsuit. Pray that this will be settled soon and according to God’s will.