Richard A. Cohen

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Richard A. Cohen
Richard Cohen TTT book cover photo.jpg
Born (1952-10-15) October 15, 1952 (age 67)
Alma mater
Spouse(s)Jae Sook Cohen (1980–present)

Richard A. Cohen (born 1952) is a conversion therapy advocate. He is the director of Positive Approaches to Healthy Sexuality (PATH), and the past director of the International Healing Foundation.[1]


Cohen was born into a Jewish family in Philadelphia. While attending Boston University, he became an evangelical Christian, and later joined the Unification Church. In 1980, Cohen married Jae Sook, a South Korean woman, and in 1995, Cohen and his family left the Unification Church.[2][3][4]

Cohen identified as gay during his undergraduate years at Boston University. He sought counseling for his unwanted same-sex attractions.[5] He says he has been heterosexual since 1987, to which he credits resolution of underlying issues. He then became involved in the ex-gay movement.[2]

In March, 2019, Cohen published Healing Heterosexuality: Time, Touch and Talk (TTT).

Cohen lives in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area with his wife of forty years. Together, they are the parents of three adult children.


Cohen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Boston University and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University.[2] In Seattle, Washington, he worked for the American Red Cross as an HIV/AIDS educator and authored a statewide curriculum for child-care provider and foster parents.[6]


International Healing Foundation / Positive Approaches to Healthy Sexuality[edit]

Cohen founded the International Healing Foundation (IHF) in 1990, a nonprofit organization, to counsel those who experience unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) through Sexual Orientation Therapy. IHF was dissolved in 2015.[1] In 2003, Cohen co-founded Positive Approaches to Healthy Sexuality (PATH), which promotes "the individual's right of self-determination, and equality, tolerance and diversity for all views of sexuality and gender identity."[7] Cohen has said, "If someone wants to live a gay life, that needs to be respected. If someone wants to resolve unwanted same-sex attraction, that too needs to be respected. Let us practice true tolerance, real diversity, and equality for all."[8][9]

While he was a psychotherapist in Washington State, Cohen was a registered counselor. During his therapeutic practice in Maryland, there was no licensure requirement for counselors until the time he was transitioning to full time teaching. Over the past twelve years, Cohen has trained over 6,000 psychologists, psychotherapists, physicians, and ministry leaders throughout the USA, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East.[1]

Expulsion from the ACA[edit]

In 2002, Cohen was permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association (ACA), after it accused him of six violations of its ethics code, which bars members from actions which "seek to meet their personal needs at the expense of clients, those that exploit the trust and dependency of clients, and for soliciting testimonials or promoting products in a deceptive manner."[2][10]

Noting that the ACA is a non-licensing trade organization[11], and that his expulsion was based upon a single complaint, [2]Cohen did not appeal the ACA decision. He claimed that the action was entirely for his efforts in the ex-gay movement, specifically for the book Coming Out Straight. He called the ACA "a biased organization,"[12] and asked, "Why would I want to be in a totally gay-affirming club?"[2]

Media appearances[edit]

Cohen has given numerous interviews in newspapers, on radio shows, and on television shows, including Jimmy Kimmel Live, Rachel Maddow, 20/20, Larry King Live, and Paula Zahn Now.[13] In 2014, Cohen appeared in a documentary by Blackstone Films entitled "The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church."[14]

Cohen was interviewed by Jason Jones on the March 19, 2007, episode of The Daily Show.[15] Cohen was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on June 28, 2006,[16] was interviewed on The Rachel Maddow Show on December 8, 2009,[17] and was on The Michelangelo Signorile Show on the Sirius radio network on April 17, 2010.

Books written[edit]

  • Cohen, Richard A; Elizabeth Sherman. Alfie's Home (1993) ISBN 978-0-9637058-0-8, self-published.[18]
  • Cohen, Richard. Coming Out Straight: Understanding Same-Sex Attraction Third Edition (2016) ISBN 978-0-9637058-8-4, PATH Press,[19][5]
  • Cohen, Richard. Gay Children, Straight Parents: A Plan for Family Healing (2016) ISBN 978-0-9637058-6-0, PATH Press.[20][21]
  • Cohen, Richard. Straight Talk About Homosexuality (2016) ISBN 978-0-9637058-9-1, PATH Press,[22][23]
  • Cohen, Richard. Healing Heterosexuality: Time, Touch and Talk (2019) ISBN 978-1-7338469-0-5, PATH Press[24]
  • Cohen, Richard. Being Gay: Nature, Nurture or Both? (2020) ISBN 978-1-7338469-2-9, PATH Press[25]


  1. ^ a b c "pathinfo | DIRECTOR". pathinfo. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Boodman, Sandra G. (2005-08-16). "A Conversion Therapist's Unusual Odyssey". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  3. ^ "Richard Cohen". GLAAD. 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  4. ^ "Richard Cohen | Brothers Road". Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  5. ^ a b Cohen, Richard. "Coming Out Straight: Understanding Same-Sex Attraction".
  6. ^ "Author Biography". Healing Heterosexuality: Time, Touch and Talk. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  7. ^ "pathinfo | WHAT WE BELIEVE". pathinfo. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  8. ^ Foundation, International Healing. "International Healing Foundation Apologizes to the LGBTQ Community on its 21st Anniversary". Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  9. ^ "WHAT WE BELIEVE". pathinfo. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  10. ^ "Notification of Results Letter". Archived from the original on January 3, 2007. Retrieved January 3, 2007.CS1 maint: unfit url (link), American Counseling Association. Retrieved 04-07-2007.
  11. ^ "About the American Counseling Association". American Counseling Association.
  12. ^ Najafi, Yusef (2005-03-04). "Activist calls ex-gay leader "dishonest". Besen criticizes PFOX president for not disclosing past". Washington Blade. Window Media. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  13. ^ New Therapy Claims to "Cure" Homosexuality, Paula Zahn Now, May 23, 2006, CNN.
  14. ^ "The Third Way". 2014-04-27.
  15. ^ "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah".
  16. ^ "Episode #4.279".
  17. ^ NBC News Rachel Maddow: Debunking a 'cure' for homosexuality
  18. ^ Alfie's home by Richard A Cohen; Elizabeth Sherman WorldCat
  19. ^ Richard Cohen, M. a.; Cohen, Richard M. A. (2016-06-02). Coming Out Straight: Understanding Same-Sex Attraction. ISBN 978-1533598578.
  20. ^ Cohen, Richard (2016-02-19). Gay Children, Straight Parents: A Plan for Family Healing. ISBN 978-1530156641.
  21. ^ Cohen, Richard. "Gay Children, Straight Parents: A Plan for Family Healing".
  22. ^ Cohen, Richard (2016-03-21). Straight Talk About Homosexuality. ISBN 978-0963705891.
  23. ^ Cohen, Richard. "Straight Talk About Homosexuality".
  24. ^ Cohen, Richard (March 28, 2019). Healing Heterosexuality: Time, Touch and Talk. ISBN 978-1-7338469-0-5.
  25. ^ Cohen, Richard (2020). Being Gay: Nature, Nurture or Both?. PATH Press. ISBN 978-1-7338469-2-9.

External links[edit] Co-founded by Richard Cohen Website for Richard Cohen's latest book