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Rachel Maddow Demolishes Therapist Who Claims He Can Make Her Straight

Richard Cohen claims his therapy can turn gay people straight -- an absurd theory debunked by all national psychological associations.

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But I want to raise this issue of what causes homosexuality which, as you point out, is essential to your way of thinking. Your most recent book, “Gay Children, Straight Parents” which, again, says nothing about changing people from being gay on the cover, which I think I resent, regardless.

Page 72 to 74, you say, “Among the list of factors that may lead to homosexual desires - divorce, death of a parent, adoption, religion, race.

Cohen: Race? That‘s not in there.

Maddow: Yes, it is - page 75 of your book with your name on the cover.I have to ask you - every single one of those ideas is insane to me. I mean, the idea that a divorce makes you gay for example - 

Cohen: No, no, no.

Maddow: You described it as a factor that contributes to homosexuality desire, OK?

Cohen: You‘re taking it out of context, Rachel.

Maddow: No, I‘m reading it from your book, Dude.

Cohen: Yes. But read what it says before the factors. It says there are many causes. It‘s never one thing alone. It‘s a confounding of factors that leads anybody to have homosexual feelings.

Maddow: I‘ll read to you, “It is important to understand why your child or loved one experiences same sex attraction.”

Cohen: Correct.

Maddow: “You may ask yourself, ‘What did I do wrong? What did we do wrong? Who did this to our child?‘ Rarely is one thing alone responsible for same sex attraction. It‘s a result of a combination of variables.”

Following is a list of 10 factors that may lead to homosexual desires. And under other factors, number 10 - divorce, death of a parent, adoption, religion, race.

Maddow: How exactly does race make you gay? What are you talking about?

Cohen: Keep reading what the book says.

Maddow: About race?

Cohen: No, about what‘s under that. You just read the heading. Now, read the rest of the text.

Maddow: Divorce, death of a parent, adoption, religion, race, rejection by opposite sex peers. You go into the rejection about - you want me to read the rejection of an opposite-sex peer? I‘m not sure I have the stomach for that. “An adopted child, a boy with a fragile sense of gender identity -“ let me ask you about what you said here. How does race make a person gay? It‘s your book.

Cohen: OK. The main factors that will lead somebody to experience same-sex attraction - again, it‘s multi-factorial. But basically, a boy doesn‘t bond well with his dad, the girl -

Maddow: No. Specifically, I want to ask you why you included race there. How does race make you gay?

Cohen: It doesn‘t.

Maddow: OK. All right. Are you a licensed therapist?

Cohen: I have practiced psychotherapy under the requirements of every state that I‘ve practiced in and resided in over the last 20 years. And I‘ve helped thousands of men and women come out of homosexuality.

Maddow: But you are not licensed?

Cohen: No, I‘m not. But I‘ve always practiced within the legal requirements of every state.

Maddow: The American Counseling Association kicked you out in 2002 or 2003 for ethical reasons. Are you certified as any sort of clinician at all? 

Cohen: The American Counseling Association - actually, I‘m glad you brought that up. I‘m a victim, Rachel, of a hate crime. They took the heinous complaint of one client and used that as an excuse to kick me out of their non-licensing trade organization.

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