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VALUES: AN ISSUE IN PSYCHOTHERAPY: COMMENTS ON A CASE STUDY

By Sol L. Garfield

Abstract

The treatment of a case of homosexual pedophilia by Kohlenberg and the commentaries by Davison and Wilson and Strupp are discussed with special references to the issue of values in psychotherapy. While the matter of values is clearly involved in such matters as the acceptance of the client's goals in psychotherapy, there would appear to be differences in how these values are viewed or evaluated. Because of some of the unusual features pertaining to the treatment of the case reported by Kohlenberg (1974), I welcomed the Editor's decision to invite further comment and discussion of the issues involved. Probably the central point concerns the agreement of the therapist to work with the client in an attempt to direct his sexual drives and interests away from young boys and toward adult males. Certainly, this is a somewhat unusual case since most previous reports on the behavioral treatment of homosexuals have centered on making them increase their responses to members of the opposite sex. However, therapists have undoubtedly worked with problems comparable to the one discussed here but rarely have such reports been openly reported in the literature. The two discussants (Davidson & Wilson, 1974; Strupp, 1974) tend to view the therapist's decision to pursue the specific goal he selected from somewhat different vantage points and with different degrees of explicitiness or support. In this instance, therapy or behavior modification had the. goal of "adult " homosexuality—by and large a rather uncommon one. Strupp (1974) discussed the problem of motivation for therapy, the client's internal conflict concerning his sexual behavior, and the matter of values inherent in the therapist's acceptance of the client's goals for therapy. Davison and Wilson (1974) on the other hand came out openly in support of the therapist's stance in working with the client toward his stated goal and also questioned conventional views concerning the desirability of heterosexuality as a norm or goal as compared with homosexuality. While one may admire their taking a clear stand, some of their statements appear debatable—even though they clearly concern matters of value. The statement tha

Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.418.4540
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