Threat to Christian Counseling

February 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.



  1. Mike, does this mean that if I counsel someone to stop being a homosexual I can be sued? I can’t tell from what Dr. Throckmorton said what is actually being done.

  2. Christians continue to be attached on several fronts. Do we waiver and conform? I would hope not. It’s a tough position to be in when a Christian stands up and voices what is right and what is wrong. They usually become unpopular and shunned, sometimes even by their own Christian friends.

    I for one don’t desire to conform to all that’s become acceptable in our society.

  3. Jay: I don’t think that counselors need to worry about lawsuits per se. That might happen, but I don’t really see it going through an appeals court. No, what I think the concern is, is that counselors who seek to help clients change their sexual preferences will be threatened with having their national accreditation removed.

    Anon: I agree with you. Even if that is the threat, it shouldn’t stop any of us from doing what is right and what we know is healthy.

  4. I would think a person who is seeking counseling because of a homosexual lifestyle would not be apt to bring a lawsuit?

    Can a lawsuit be brought on behalf of the homosexual person, say from their partner? Wouldn’t the judge throw it out since the actual homosexual person didn’t bring it?

    Wasn’t this same scenario tried with doctors who stood by their oath and wouldn’t perform abortians?

  5. It feels like we are loosing the homosexual agenda war.

    There was a class I took recently where several of the students were open lesbians. Their stories were shocking and I noticed a common theme: girl meets boy; girl and boy get married; boy abuses girl; girl gets away from boy and files for divorce; girl meets girl and discoveries her new sexuality; girl lives a happier life (or at least a better life than the one she had with boy).

    I think we have been focusing on the homosexual community when we should have been focusing on its roots: an entire generation of young men and women who do not know what a healthy male female relationship looks like. I think the onus falls primarily on families raising young men. Generally speaking, they have done a lousy job! Although, maybe I am being too harsh on the parents of young men. Perhaps our youth culture and its clever blurring of the lines between the genders is to blame.

  6. Anon:The story you share of course is common among female homosexuals. And I agree that is what we need to focus upon. Helping young men be the kind of partners that inspire respect and love and not fear and loathing.

    One generation looks to another for help. What is even more prevalent among young women than lesbianism is bisexuality…and that is even more disturbing.

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