Hollywood psychiatrist weighs in on Rev Ted Haggard scandal

November 08, 2006

Carole Lieberman, M.D.
LOS ANGELES — No one wants to believe it, least of all Reverend Ted Haggard’s wife and children. “This can’t be,” his parishioners staunchly affirmed, as Reverend Haggard denied the charges of Mike Jones, an admitted gay prostitute who claims to have had three years of sexual encounters with him.

“It is unlikely that a man would step forward and announce to the world that he is a gay prostitute, unless he was strongly motivated by something that touched him very personally,” says Carole Lieberman, M.D., a psychiatrist who has both treated such patients and been a psychiatric expert witness in such cases.

And how could a man like Reverend Ted Haggard live a double life, in which he puts himself in the national spotlight as an activist against gay relationships and gay marriage, when he himself is engaging in homosexual behavior?

“It’s called ‘reaction formation’,” says Dr. Lieberman. “This term describes the psychological defense mechanism that Rev. Haggard is using. Because he was so distressed by his homosexual yearnings, he staunchly opposed such behavior as a way of trying to quell these impulses within himself.”

Haggard’s alleged use of drugs during the sexual encounters is also a way of distancing himself from the part of him that gets pleasure from the homosexual behavior that the other part of him disdains, she explains.

Dr. Lieberman’s advice to Reverend Haggard? “Stop making the situation worse by denying allegations that you know to be true. Step up to the pulpit and admit your hypocrisy and humanity. To do otherwise would bring further disillusionment to your parishioners and further pain to your family.”
Source: www.drcarole.com. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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