Death of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi



Dr. Joseph Nicolosi: “Homosexual behavior is always prompted by an inner sense of emptiness”

ENCINO, Calif. ( – Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a pioneer in gay reparative therapy, has passed away, succumbing to complications from the flu. He was age 70.

Nicolosi practiced as a licensed psychologist in California, and was a founding member and president of the North American Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), whose goal is to help same-sex attracted clients overcome unwanted homosexual desires.

According to its website, “It is the only secular group in the U.S. which protects the rights of therapists to counsel clients with unwanted homosexuality.”


“I am heartbroken and in shock over the news of Joe’s sudden death,” Arthur Goldberg told Church Militant. Goldberg was founder of Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (JONAH), which referred men and women who desired to overcome homosexuality to counselors who could help them.

“His unexpected passing is a tragedy for the family, all of his friends and associates, and for the world at large,” he continued. “He was truly an irreplaceable unique presence whose many contributions to the field of psychology were immense. He will be sorely missed by all of us whom he inspired over his lifetime. May G-d have mercy on his soul.”

NARTH’s website states: “Dr. Joseph Nicolosi has been successfully helping people all over the world understand these issues, the root causes and most importantly the solutions available. Reparative therapy helps those who wish to reduce their unwanted homosexual attractions and explore their heterosexual potential.”

Homosexuality is not a sexual problem. It is a gender identity problem.

Nicolosi was a widely published author and speaker who focused on understanding the root causes of male homosexuality. According to him, everyone is born heterosexual, but somewhere along the way some sort of trauma takes place that pushes the person towards homosexuality. If it’s not abuse, then the root cause is often a combination of distant, emotionally unavailable fathers and controlling mothers.

“Homosexuality is not a sexual problem,” Nicolosi said at a conference. “It is a gender identity problem.”

“Homosexuality is not about sex. It is about a person’s sense of himself, about his relationships, how he forms and establishes relationships, his self-identity, his self-image, personal shame, his ability to sustain intimacy.” [emphasis by blogger]

“Homosexual behavior is always prompted by an inner sense of emptiness,” he explained.

This pattern is confirmed by multiple clients who’ve successfully left the gay lifestyle and no longer experience same-sex desires.

In spite of the high success rate of gay conversion therapy, liberal activists and lawmakers have been on a crusade to ban such practices because it goes against the narrative that homosexuals are ‘born that way.’

In spite of the high success rate of gay conversion therapy, liberal activists and lawmakers have been on a crusade to ban such practices because it goes against the narrative that homosexuals are “born that way” and can’t change. They’ve argued instead that conversion therapy is harmful, and have even described it as “torture.”

Currently, five states, plus Washington, D.C., ban reparative therapy for minors.

At his passing, Nicolosi was working on a project to disprove this thesis that reparative therapy is harmful. In 2016, he and Dr. Carolyn Pela presented results of an ongoing study showing that conversion therapy actually reduced stress and contributed to the client’s overall emotional and physical well-being — contrary to gay activists’ claims.

“Findings from preliminary data collected over a 12-month period indicated statistically significant reductions in distress and improvements in well-being, significant movement toward heterosexual identity, and significant increases in heterosexual thoughts and desires with accompanying significant decreases in homosexual thoughts and desires,” he summarized.

Because of Nicolosi’s controversial and politically incorrect narrative on homosexuality, he endured misinformation campaigns from secular media, including a protracted battle with Wikipedia.

“Specifically, my therapy is wrongly described in Wikipedia,” he explained. “In fact, I never tell SSA men that they should avoid opera and art museums; attend church; learn to mimic ‘straight’ ways of walking and talking; join group therapy; begin dating and then marry, etc.”

“Whenever I correct these areas on the Wikipedia page,” he continued, “the entries are promptly changed back into their original form by an activist writer.”

Nicolosi is survived by his wife and son, Joseph, Jr.

* * * * * * *

Blogger:  The revelation of the One God as Father, Son and Spirit demands that the notion of divine Person be relational. Joseph Ratzinger wrote: “(T)he First Person does not beget the Son in the sense of the act of begetting coming on top of the finished Person; it is the act of begetting, of giving oneself, of streaming forth. It is identical with the act of giving. Only as this act is it person, and therefore it is not the giver but the act of giving, ‘wave’ not corpuscle…”[1] This is counter-intuitive to our way of knowing as sensible perception and abstract thinking, but it is not counter to what we mean by “experience,” in that we can experience the self as being totally for and in the other. One “falls in love” and cannot stop the sweet-painful consciousness of the reality of the other.

This dynamic as a thrusting on the level of the “I” and grounded in the ontological imaging of the divine Persons as Relations, is what appears to be “gender” and source of the empirically observable and measurable anatomy and physiology of sex. That is, as enfleshed, persons are either male or female with the “I,” as ultimate meaning and explanatory source.

Consider the psychic and sociasl consequences as observed by psychologists: Psychological Confirmation: Conrad Baars, M.D.: Emotional Deprivation Disorder: Characteristics: “feelings of inferiority and inadequacy, inability to establish normal rapport with one’s peers and form lasting friendships, feelings of loneliness and insecurity, doubts about one’s self-worth and identity, fear of the adult world, and often deep depressions. Although the energetic among them are able to succeed in business or profession, they fail in their personal lives. If married, they find it impossible to relate in a spontaneous and emotionally satisfying way with spouse and children. In matters of faith, dullness prevails as their feelings cannot participate in their spiritual life. Their religious experience is neither ‘a burden that is light,’ nor ‘a yoke that is sweet.’ Their psychosexual immaturity may express itself in various ways, for instance, in masturbation, pornography, homosexuality, sexual impotence or frigidity…

Cause of EDD [Emotional Deficit Disorder]: an inadequate feeling of self-worth. And this is the key to it all: “The source of the feeling of self-worth is always another person – the ‘significant other’ – who can either give or withhold it. The process whereby a person receives his or her feeling of self-worth from the ‘significant other’ is for every human being a bonum fundamentale. In a very special relationship with the significant other, the person is seen and experienced by the other as good, worthwhile and lovable. The pleasure of the approving and loving other is perceived in such a manner that the person literally feels this through his or her entire being.[2][3]


Persons Related to by Affirmation: “can be said to have received the gift of themselves. They feel worthwhile, significant and lovable. They possess themselves as man or woman. They know who they are. They are certain of their identity. They love themselves unselfishly. They are open to all that is good and find joy in the same. They are able to affirm all of creation, and as affirmers of all beings are capable o f making others happy and joyful, too. They are largely other-directed. They find joy in being and doing for others. The find joy in their love relationship with their Creator. They can share and give of themselves, be a true friend to others, and feel at ease with persons of both sexes. They are capable of finding happiness in marinate of the freely chosen celibate state of life. They are free from psycho-pathological factors which hamper one’s free will and are therefore sully responsible – morally and legally – for their actions.”[4]

Unaffirmed Persons: “can be said to have been born only once; their second or psychological birth never took place (or, since it is a protracted process, was never complete). They were not made to know and feel their own goodness, worth and identity. They have been thrown back upon themselves by denial on the part of significant others in their life. They are like prisoners – locked in, lonely, and self-centered – waiting fort someone to come and open the door of their prison, waiting to be opened to their own goodness and that of others. No measure of success in business, profession or otherwise can adequately compensate for their feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, uncertainty and insecurity. Both the married life and the celibate life accentuate the fundamental loneliness of these persons and their inability to relate to others as equals. Their spiritual life suffers as time goes on, and their basically joyless way of life changes more and more to a state of depression until death seems the only way out.

               “Most importantly, unaffirmed persons have only one concern and need: to become affirmed, to be loved for who they are and not for what they do. They are literally driven to find someone who truly, unequivocally loves them. This is in marked contrast to affirmed individuals who look for someone with whom they can share their love, who can give love as well as receive, who can wait and are not hurried, driven, or compelled to find someone who will love them. If affirmation by a significant other is not forthcoming, many unaffirmed persons wells use their talents, intelligence and energy to try to convince themselves and the world in a variety of ways that they are worthwhile, important and significant, even though they don’t feel that they are. The most common ways of doing this are by the acquisition, display and use of material goods, wealth, power, fame, honor, status symbols, or sex.”[5]

Dr. Nicolosi is one of three founding members–and former President–of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a 1,000-member professional association founded in 1992 ( NARTH’s goal is –

  • To support mental-health professionals who work with same-sex-attracted clients seeking change.
  • To promote respect within the mental-health profession for worldview diversity—whether a person seeks to identify as gay, or to work toward developing his heterosexual potential.

* * * * * * * * *


Biographical Information

Dr. Nicolosi graduated from the New School for Social Research (M.A.) and received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. He is licensed as a psychologist in California.

In 1980, he founded the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, California, and has served since then as Clinical Director. Although he works with a wide variety of clients, his specialty is the treatment of men who wish to diminish their same-sex attractions and develop their heterosexual potential.

The NARTH website is viewed by over 100,000 visitors each month. It is the only secular group in the U.S. which protects the rights of therapists to counsel clients with unwanted homosexuality.

Dr. Nicolosi’s Published Books

Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality, 1992 (published by Jason Aronson, Inc.)

Healing Homosexuality, 1994 (Jason Aronson, Inc.)

A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, 2002 (Intervarsity Press)

Shame and Attachment Loss: The Practical Work of Reparative Therapy, 2009 (InterVarsity Press)



Book Chapters

Nicolosi, Joseph (1993). “Psychotherapy Can Change Sexual Orientation,” in Homosexuality: Opposing Viewpoints. D. Bender and B. Leone, Eds., San Diego, CA.: Greenhaven Press, pp.126-132.

Nicolosi, Joseph, (1994). “What Does Science Teach About Homosexuality?” in Caught in the Crossfire: Helping Christians Debate Homosexuality, S. Geis and D. Messer, Eds., Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, pp. 67-77.

Nicolosi, Joseph (1999) “The Gay Deception,” in Homosexuality and American Public Life, edited by Christopher Wolfe. Dallas, TX: Spence.

Nicolosi, Joseph (2009) “The Meaning of Same-Sex Attraction,” in Handbook of Therapy for Unwanted Homosexual Attractions: A Guide to Treatment,” Julie Harren-Hamilton and Philip Henry, Eds., Xulon Press.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Nicolosi, Joseph, (2016), “The Traumatic Foundation of Male Homosexuality,” Crisis Magazine, December 19, 2016.

Nicolosi, Joseph, (2012), “A Call for a Psychologically Informed Ministry for Homosexual Catholics,” in Amare Nella Differenza: Le Forme Della Sessualita e Il Pensiero Cattolico: Studio Interdisciplinare, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Cita del Vaticano, pp. 523-535.

A.D. Byrd, Joseph Nicolosi, and R.W. Potts (February 2008), “Clients’ Perceptions of How Reorientation Therapy and Self-Help Can Promote Changes in Sexual Orientation,” Psychological Reports 102, pp. 3-28.

Nicolosi, Joseph, October, 2003 “Finally, Recognition of a Long-Neglected Population,” Archives of Sexual Behavior, , vol. 32, no, 5, pp. 445-447.

Nicolosi, Joseph, Byrd, D., Potts, R.W. (June, 2002). “A Critique of Bem’s “Exotic Becomes Erotic” Theory of Sexual Orientation Development,” Psychological Reports 90: 931-946.

Nicolosi, Joseph, Byrd, D., Potts, R.W. (June, 2002). “A Meta-Analytic Review of Treatment of Homosexuality,” Psychological Reports 90: 1139-1152.

Nicolosi, Joseph (2001) “A Developmental Model for Effective Treatment of Male Homosexuality: Implications for Pastoral Counseling,” American J. of Pastoral Counseling, vol. 3, no.3/4, pp. 87-99.

Nicolosi, Joseph, (2001) “The Removal of Homosexuality from the Psychiatric Manual,” The Catholic Social Science Review, Volume VI, p. 71-77.

Nicolosi, J., Byrd, A. Dean, Potts, R.W. (June 2000). “Retrospective Self-Reports of Changes in Homosexual Orientation, A Consumer Survey of Conversion Therapy Clients,” Psychological Reports, 86: 1071-1088.

Nicolosi, Joseph, Byrd, D., Potts, R.W. (April 2000) “Beliefs and Practices of Therapists Who Practice Sexual Reorientation Psychotherapy,” Psychological Reports 86, 689-702.

Nicolosi, Joseph, (1993). “Treatment of the Non-Gay Homosexual Man,” The Journal of Pastoral Counseling, Vol. XXVIII, p. 76-82.


[1] J. Ratzinger, “Introduction to Christianity,” Ignatius (1990) 132.

[2] Note that John Paul II, writing to Teresa Heydel, remarked: “Everyone… lives, above all, for love. The ability to love authentically, not great intellectual capacity, constitutes the deepest part of a personality. It is no accident that the greatest commandment is to love. Authentic love leads us outside ourselves to affirming others.”  A month later, he wrote: “After many experiences and a lot of thinking, I am convinced that the (objective) starting point of love is the realization that I am needed by another. The person who objectively needs me most is also, for me, objectively, the person I most need. This is a fragment of life’s deep logic… The great achievement is always to see values that others don’t see and to affirm them. The even greater achievement is to bring out of people the values that would perish without us. IN the same way, we bring our values out in ourselves” (G. Weigel, “Witness to Hope” Cliffside Books [1999] 101-102].

[3] C. Baars, “I Will Give Themn a New Heart” St Pauls (2008) 12.

[4] Ibid 190.

[5] Ibid190-191.


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