“How One Flawed Study Spawned a Decade of Lies”


Forbes magazine dives into the controversy swirling around former DSM task force chairman Robert Spitzer, and his recanted study of “reparative therapy,” with an analysis that concludes “What’s remarkable is that this classic example of bad science was approved for presentation at a conference of the leading psychiatric association, and was subsequently published in a peer-reviewed journal of the profession.”

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Related MIA Items:
“Father of Modern Psychiatry” Feels He Owes An Apology
Is there Any Value In Psychiatric Diagnosis?


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. It is quite possible for a person’s sexual orientation to become compromised or altered, in a way that is not genuine for the individual. Those people who want support to make adjustments for their greater well-being deserve to have a model in practice, for which to guide them. There really are some people who are not happy with the way their sexuality has developed, or unhappy with it’s natural state. Not every homosexual person is naturally homosexual, just as not every heterosexual is naturally heterosexual (late bloomers, self-discovery).

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