A Tribute to Dr. Nicolosi from a Physician in Italy

A Tribute to Dr. Nicolosi from a Physician in Italy

Chiara Atzori, M.D. (pictured above, and on right) is a medical doctor in residence at Luigi Sacco hospital in Milan, Italy.  In 2005 and 2010, she organized conferences in Italy on the subject of unwanted homosexuality, where Dr. Nicolosi was the main presenter.  But she paid a price for her convictions; on four occasions, a gay activist filed complaints against her to her Medical Board, charging her, as the conference organizer, with “homophobic actions and ideas.”  She was able to refute the charges each time with the scientific evidence. 

At the second conference, she had to hire a bodyguard to protect Dr. Nicolosi from activists. “I always found Dr. Nicolosi to be kind, generous, and empathetic; he had a special gift for empathizing with his patients, and he was always generous in giving his advice and encouragement to others professionally,” she says. The following is her tribute to him..


On March 8, 2017, at the age of just 70, American psychologist Joseph Nicolosi died. He was the founder of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic.

Condolences are first of all offered to his wife Linda and his son Joseph Jr.

For those who have known him, Dr. Nicolosi has always been serenely firm in presenting and defending his ideas.  He was also deeply attached to his family, his work, his patients; and sincere in respecting the teachings of his church, as he was a committed Catholic.

Nicolosi was co-founder with Charles Socarides and Ben Kaufman of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) in 1992. He adopted psychoanalytic and psychodynamic concepts to promote a therapeutic approach aimed at supporting (but never inducing) Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) when the patient perceived his own attractions as uncomfortable and undesirable.

This discomfort with one's sexuality is still recognized in the World Health Organization (WHO) diagnostic manual, referred to as the F66.01 disorder, in full recognition of the patient's right to self-determination. 

Nicolosi's primary interest was directed at the constellation of factors leading to the formation of male homosexuality. In particular, he highlighted the fact that inaccessible and distant fathers and overly involved mothers were often found in the backgrounds of homosexual men. The relationship of the parents to each other was also typically either distant (with the mother consequently over-involving herself with the son) and/or narcissistic (primarily meeting the needs of the couple at the expense of the emotional and temperamental expression of the child). These factors created a pathological relational triad--an environment that greatly increases the likelihood that a male child would develop a homosexual orientation.

Nicolosi has always argued that homosexuality typically represents, in psychoanalytic terms, an attempt at "reparation" of a wounded gender identity. From a hasty, inaccurate (and often, in bad faith) reading of his concepts, a false understanding of "reparative therapy" has emerged, as if the therapist would have proposed a "repair" of the patient. On the contrary, the patient is freely approaching the psychologist for help, due to unwanted homosexual feelings which he would like to understand, clarify, and diminish, and which he believes do not represent his deepest identity.

LGBT activism has openly opposed Nicolosi in an outspoken and unfortunately, often violent way.  Activists have tried to prevent him from communicating the clinical evaluations he gained during decades of activities professionally acquired in his practice in California, the epicenter of global homosexuality, dealing with hundred of men dissatisfied with a gay lifestyle and their homosexual attractions, who found in him thoughtful attention, respect, support, and care.

In responseto Nicolosi's theory and practice, many gay-rights advocates have fought and struggled to ban reparative therapy by law, humiliating and silencing all those who benefited from the help of Nicolosi and the group of worldwide therapists who have been inspired by him. 

At present in five US states, under the pressure of the LGBT lobby--and through gross misrepresentations by gay activists of what reparative therapy actually involves--laws in those five states now prevent any form of the reparative approach to minors, only allowing therapy that actively encourages a minor to adopt a gay identity and lifestyle. 

Although Dr. Nicolosi's Encino, CA Clinic has closed due to his sudden and untimely death, there remain other NARTH-related specialists, fully licensed, who still respond to requests for help from people who experience undesired homosexual feelings.

For Joseph Nicolosi-- a transparent and honest man who has carried forward with determination and serene constancy his professionalism in the service of the good-- a response is due, in addition to the request for prayer: that is, for other professionals to read with a truly open mind,  what he has actually said, written and done.

It is desirable, therefore, that many read his books. Among the many we mention are "A Parents Guide to Preventing Homosexuality," republished in 2016 by Liberal Mind Publishers, and translated into Italian by Sugarco, in 2010.

In an age of confusion, unreality, superficiality, and simplistic sloganeering, these are vital and articulate texts, written with respect for the principle of reality, and for the freedom of patients to choose their own destinies that Dr. Nicolosi has always so strongly championed.

--Chiara Atzori, M.D.