Islamic religious guidance website OnIslam.com has published a response to a reader’s question about changing his sexual orientation by a Muslim psychologist by saying that doesn’t work.
‘I’ve heard that you can help me to find a kind of Muslim association of psychologist to help me to hung up with homosexuality, I’m a Muslim man of 32 and live in Paris,’ the anonymous reader wrote in a post entitled ‘Hung up with Homosexuality.’
‘I would like to be heterosexual and live as a good Muslim.’
Muslim clinical psychologist Dr Maryam Bachmeier responded that there was no cure for homosexuality.
‘Speaking from the discipline of psychology, I cannot tell you that there is any “cure” for homosexuality,’ Bachmeier wrote.
‘In fact, homosexuality is not considered a mental disorder in the DSM IV-R or in the DSM V that is about to be published, which is the diagnostic manual that psychology practitioners use to make diagnosis. Therefore, you cannot be diagnosed as having anything “wrong” with you from a clinical or scientific perspective.’
‘What I have found over the years is that there are some people who feel that their sexual orientation cannot be changed, that they were born with it, and that it is not merely a lifestyle choice-but actually natural for them.’
However Bachmeier said that if the unnamed man was feeling distressed or conflicted about his sexuality and faith a psychotherapist could help with that.
‘If you are struggling with a moral issue and you want to clarify your moral values and you also want your behaviors to be congruent with your values, psychotherapy can help you do that.
‘If you cannot find a Muslim therapist, you can talk to therapists about your religious beliefs and interview them to make sure that they will not try to change your religion.
‘There are many therapists who know how to honor your spiritual path while applying the tools of psychotherapy to facilitate your process as you walk with Allah.’
Bachmeier advised the man to remain celibate while going through the process of counseling.
‘Then after you are feeling better about yourself in this world, you can take another look at your orientation and see if you are attracted to women and crave the companionship of a woman,’ Bachmeier wrote.
However Bachmeier claimed that some people who engaged in same-sex activity were not genuine homosexuals and did so because they had gotten ‘caught up in a deviant lifestile,’ because they had been sexually abused or had been hurt by women.
‘If you are not an authentically biologically created homosexual, then working through trauma, sexual identity issues, and self image etc, will likely help to resolve most of your conflicts and set the stage for you to progress toward more healthy relationship with women,’ she wrote.
Bachmeier writes regularly for OnIslam.com on mental health issues.
OnIslam.com still contends that acting on homosexual feelings is a very serious sin in Islam.