Client Choice Under Attack

Client Choice Under Attack:

Interview with David Pickup, LMFT

by Linda Ames Nicolosi

Testifying Before a State Legislature: David Pickup, LMFT

Testifying Before a State Legislature: David Pickup, LMFT

1.  David, you have testified before several State Legislatures about the proposed therapy bans.  These laws seek to stop any psychotherapy that might reduce same-sex attractions in minors. What's your thinking on this?

These bans are, in effect, child abuse. 

All of our therapy clients believe that their homosexual feelings were caused by emotional and/or sexual abuse. To address this abuse, I use a program called Reintegrative Therapy, which focuses on childhood traumas. As a byproduct of this therapy, when the trauma is revisited, homosexual feelings are often reduced or eliminated.  To deny a child their right to heal these underlying wounds would do nothing but further abuse the child. 

Can you imagine a child or his parent walking into our offices who wants therapy for homosexual feelings that are associated with their sexual abuse, and having to tell them that overcoming this trauma might change their sexual attractions— and that any change of homosexual feelings would be illegal? This is nothing short of more abuse. 

2. If Joe Nicolosi Sr. were alive today, what would be his thoughts on this situation?

If Joe were here, he would be fighting right alongside the rest of us with his characteristic expressions of scientific integrity, passionate belief in what truly works therapeutically, and expressions of healthy, sarcastic wit.  He wouldn’t put up with psychological nonsense. 

3.  Could you tell us about Sam Brinton, who is paid by gay-activist groups to go around the country testifying in favor of these anti-therapy bills?

The simple way to explain is to go to  That short documentary reveals the real story about one of the most active LGBT lobbyists in the country.  

Brinton is giving false testimony of the supposed Reparative Therapy he received some years ago as a minor. His parents, who would have been the ones who sent him to therapy, refute his story.  Brinton says he was harmed by this therapy but he refuses to state, or “can’t remember,” any of the key details—at what age he went to therapy, the name of the counselor, whether it was a religious or licensed counselor (his story has changed over the years), or the location of his experience. 

He now believes he has achieved the “freedom” to be who he really is. But when you go to the, the film will show you exactly what this freedom brought him.  Brinton is now someone who engages in degrading animal-fantasy sex, cross-dressing, bondage sex, and even the abuse of women in some ways. 

And our lawmakers continue to fall for Brinton’s story.  No lawmaker attempts to verify his claims, even though we tell them they are easily shown to be false.

4. Why are these therapy bans so dangerous?

A client’s right to therapy that benefits him or her should be upheld by all the major psychological institutions in the world. Instead, it is under siege.

Besides, there is a legal issue at stake—the US Constitutional right to free speech. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently gave the opinion (coming out of another case regarding free speech) that banning specific types of therapy was a violation of free speech.  In contrast, the 9th Circuit court ruled differently some years ago. As this issue continues to work its way through the legal system, we expect other Federal Courts and the Supreme Court to rule in our favor. 

5. How do these bans threaten clients’ rights?

To ban therapy because it doesn’t fit a contemporary political or psychological movement will interfere with client dignity and self-determination. The first ethical goal of all medical or mental health professions is, after all, to do no harm, and these bans will harm clients’ rights to self-determination. 

Clients’ rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation will no doubt increase, if such therapy is banned throughout the country. The anti-therapy movement will also lead to the breakdown of scientific authority of the mental health profession and public respect for its research, as the layman begins to recognize that politics, not science, is actually driving their agendas. 

6. The LGBT movement is demanding that transgender therapy be available to a preschool child.  That child is seen as perfectly capable of making his own decisions about who he is, if he seeks to identify as the opposite sex. And yet a teenager with homosexual feelings is seen as not capable of choosing his own identity if it leads him away from a gay lifestyle. Isn’t this intellectually incoherent?

You have just articulated the exact and gross irony of this situation. This incoherence makes it obvious that  the LGBT movement to ban therapy is political, self-serving,  and not really directed toward the mental health of children. Children are being used for the irrational and biased agendas of adults. They seek to upend our understanding of gender and sexuality and guide it toward a worldview which ignores our biological design. This has happened in history many times before. 

7. Why is it so important to the gay community to stop people from leaving homosexuality?

There are two main reasons for the gay community’s resistance. First, testimony such as my own tends to crack the foundation of the LGBT world view, which would require them to face the traumatic underlying causes of the homosexual condition. 

Second, people with same-sex attraction usually hold onto unresolved anger from having been shamed or bullied by family, friends and society from many years past.   It would be emotionally unsettling if they weren’t able to transfer these unresolved anger issues onto other people in the present. In short, they need to “pay back” the hurt that was done to them. 

This maltreatment for having had homosexual feelings is actually why I have so much compassion for the LGBT community. They deserve our compassion, but that doesn’t mean that clients’ rights should be taken away.

8. What false testimonies have you seen in government deliberations over the therapy bans?

I just testified in Denver last week (March 2019) where two of the most notorious LGBT activists spread their falsehoods in the senate committee.  Yet that committee passed the therapy ban!

One notorious figure is, as mentioned above, Sam Brinton.  The other is Matthew Shurka, who is also mentioned on the Brinton Hoax website. I’ve testified in around 20 states over the past seven years.  It’s always the same stories from the gay activists. Every one of these testimonies reports horrendous things like electroshock to testicles, shame-based therapies, and coercive techniques.  But they never report “who, what, where and when” about these horror stories. And the committee members never ask them for corroboration.

If these terrible therapies had actually taken place, don’t you think those men would have sued their therapists? Wouldn’t they have reported them to their licensing boards? Yet none of them have done so.

On the other hand, our own testimonies of the existence of safe and effective therapy can establish actual dates, doctors’ names, and places where clients received effective, professional treatment. 

9. Where do you think this is all going to lead?

If the Supreme Court still exists as an honorable, wise and unbiased institution, I believe that it will uphold a client’s right to professional therapy. 

But if they do not, the U.S. could be hit by a metaphorical iceberg like the Titanic that sunk long ago. It will be an age of something like fascism.

On the other hand, if our rights are upheld in the courts, I believe a new era of professional therapy will emerge  in our country that informs everyone that no one has to be LGBT. 

10. The Democrats have been unified in favor of the anti-therapy bills.  In fact, didn't Hillary Clinton say she hoped to ban therapy for adults as well? 

Yes, Clinton indeed pushed for the therapy bans, even for adults. But in many states there is immense pushback from truth-seeking Republicans. However, in almost every one of the 15 states that have banned therapy, they’ve only succeeded because they are the most liberal states in the Union. From this point forward, it’s going to be very hard for LGBT activists to take hold in many more states to ban therapy. 

11. Do you think the legislators you speak to, are actually interested in the truth?

Yes, the conservative ones are, for the most part, but the liberal ones probably couldn’t care less. In my opinion, there is a national dumbing-down of reason, and a blindness to truth. 

The Left tries desperately to convey compassion for all diverse peoples. However, compassion without truth degenerates into mindless sentimentality. In fact, compassion just becomes “niceness” whenever it is not grounded in truth.