Status Report on the Forthcoming Longitudinal SAFE-T Outcome Research


Carolyn Pela, Ph.D., [1] Philip Sutton, Ph.D.[2] 


Many Alliance supporters have been asking about the current status of our outcome research on sexual attraction fluidity exploration in therapy (SAFE-T), tentatively titled, “Sexual attraction fluidity and well-being: A therapeutic outcome study.”  Data collection for the study was completed in April of 2018.

Method: Prior to beginning the study, the researchers obtained approval to conduct the research from the Institutional Review Board of Arizona Christian University, where the study’s Principal Investigator, Dr. Pela, is a professor. The study involved a quasi-experimental, single-group pretest-multiple posttest design. The independent variable (treatment) was SAFE-T, in which therapists used primarily a psychodynamic approach with cognitive behavioral and EMDR interventions.

The two main nonequivalent dependent variables were: sexual attraction experiences and wellbeing.


Participant Recruiting and Selection: The study relied on convenience sampling to recruit participants from new clients at two private mental health clinics in Southern California. Male adults reporting same-sex attraction experiences were provided a letter of invitation to participate which included an explanation of the study. In addition, potential participants were assured that their participation in the study or declining to participate would have no impact on their clinical services. Clients who agreed to participate signed a consent for participation, which included research evidence related to the potential for harm in psychotherapy. Data collection took place over five years and was completed in April of 2018.


Study Status: A paper reporting the results of the study has been written and submitted for publication review. This paper is entitled: Sexual Attraction Fluidity and Well-being: A Therapeutic Outcome Study by Carolyn Pela & Philip Sutton.




[1] Carolyn Pela, Ph.D., the principal investigator for the study, is a professor and the chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Arizona Christian University, Phoenix, AZ. Dr. Pela is Past-President of the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity. 

[2] Philip M. Sutton, PhD, serves in full-time professional practice as a licensed marriage and family therapist and clinical social worker in Indiana and as a psychologist Michigan. Dr. Sutton is a Member of the Allliance’s Scientific Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council and is the past Editor of the Journal of Human Sexuality.

[3] The tentative title of the article reporting this study is: Carolyn Pela, C., Sutton, P., Sexual attraction fluidity and well-being: A therapeutic outcome study.