Dr. Nicolosi Speaks at Conference in Poland for Psychotherapists
On September 16-17, 2011, Dr. Nicolosi provided a training conference in Poland for psychotherapy professionals. It was sponsored by The Foundation for Health and Psychotherapeutic Education in Poznan, Poland, led by psychologist Bogna Bialecka.
Dr. Nicolosi with Dr. Bogna Bialecka
Dr. Bialecka said that her organization planned the conference so that Dr. Nicolosi could share his professional experience helping men deal with their unwanted same-sex attraction. About 200 people registered for the event.
According to Dr. Bialecka, homosexual activists sent hundreds of e-mail to the medical university which was set to host the lectures. They demanded the conference be banned from the university’s facilities. The school at first defended the use of their lecture hall, but then backed down after the appearance of a critical front-page article in one of the leading Polish newspapers, Gazeta Wyborcza.
Conference organizers had to rush to find a new location.
A press conference was held the day before the event. Nearly a dozen media outlets attended, including a Catholic newspaper as well as mainstream media. “I was able to find the opportunity to speak about the ‘non-gay’ homosexual, describing what kind of person this is, and what is he looking for,” said Dr. Nicolosi. “That seemed to get their attention; they had never heard the concept before. They often asked me how many such people there are. We answered that we do not know because until now, the media has failed to acknowledge them, placing them in the category of ‘gay-but-not-yet-out-of-the-closet."
Security at the event was tight.
“After we finally had a chance to speak, there was a dramatic shift in the media's attitude,” said Dr. Nicolosi. “At first, they presented us to the public as ‘right-wing homophobes,’ but gradually they began to recognize us as a group of people who have the right to support clients in their worldview choice. If their culture truly values diversity, then they cannot silence us. Nor can they marginalize the many clients and families we represent.”
The conference took place over a two-day period.
“There were lots of good questions from the 200-or-so clinicians in the audience,” Nicolosi said, “showing not only enthusiasm about the subject, but also a high level of psychological sophistication. There was a strong spirit of determination among them, because of the heated public controversy fanned by the media that had almost shut down the event.”
Even though the Medical University (UM) Foundation had withdrawn its invitation to host the event, “the university’s president disagreed with the withdrawal, and advocated for us on the grounds of free speech and the right to present differing scientific theories and worldviews,” Nicolosi said.
“Further, the conference ended on a particular high note: the Medical University decided to grant Continuing Education (CE) credits to all clinical professionals in attendance at our conference.”