Christians who struggle with a conflict between their sexual and religious identities have few therapeutic options available to them. ‘Sexual orientation change efforts’ (SOCE) have rightly fallen out of favor and are no longer practiced by most clinicians. At the same time, the common approach of gay affirmative therapy (GAT) can at times present challenges and may not be a good fit when clients hold to conventional religious beliefs and values.
An alternative to these methods is Sexual Identity Therapy (SIT)—an approach that aims to provide individuals with a safe therapeutic space to explore the tension between their sexuality and their faith. Working within the SIT framework, clients are able to resolve their inner conflict to their personal satisfaction and to freely choose a coherent identity that enables them to move forward in life.
SIT has several stages, each designed to enable the client to make meaning out of his or her same-sex sexuality. At no point in the process is the client encouraged to choose one sexual identity over another. The ultimate goal of SIT is congruence. Congruence is achieved when a person freely adopts an identity and lives it out in ways that are in keeping with his or her beliefs and values. The SIT model is brought to life throughout the book with the help of case studies drawn from the author’s 20 years of experience.
Written for both Christian and non-religious clinicians, Sexual Identity and Faith is an informed, respectful, and nuanced guide to help people navigate the difficult conflict between who they are sexually and what they believe religiously.