A Virginia pastor claims he's discovered a new application for an existing form of pet therapy utilizing horses: ridding homosexuals of their troublesome 'addiction' to members of the same sex. Raymond Bell, The Cowboy Church of Virginia's chief pastor, tells Gay Star News 'Equine Assisted Psychotherapy' can, 'help any person who is living the homosexual lifestyle or involved in it any way.' When asked by Gay Star News whether the therapy has ever worked in the past, Bell told the publication, ‘it is not now, nor has it ever been, in question’. EAP is a form of pet therapy in which a person sorts out their own emotions by engaging in myriad activities with horses - from grooming and walking to playing games with the animal. It is conventionally used as a stop-gap for addressing everything from trust issues to eating disorders to assuaging pain associated with repressed mental trauma. However, Bell reportedly believes the therapy can also be used to cure one's 'addiction' to homosexuality. A description of the therapy on the Cowboy Church of Virgina's website reads: 'Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) offers experiential psychotherapy sessions to diagnosed or diagnosable clients.'Natural horse and herd behavior are observed and honored as a model for healthful human behavior. Equine-assisted exercises are designed to elicit metaphors and self-awareness. These exercises help clients recognize their own behaviors and patterns and create their own solutions.' Bell's notion that a person can rid themselves of homosexuality apparently springs from his ideas about the lifestyle. ‘The first common misconception is that homosexuality is genetic, or hereditary, or as some say 'born this way,'' Bell reportedly said. ‘Homosexuality is actually a type of addiction. It is not curable as a disease because it is a choice driven by the person.’ 'Homosexuality is a secondary effect from a single, or multiple, primary events in a person’s life,’ Bell told Gay Star News, before reportedly adding EAP can be utilized to bring to light the specific events that lead a person to homosexuality, in the first place. Cowboy Churches are local Christan churches that incorporate a Western motif into their worship. 'In 2004 God called and sent Ray and Linda Bell, along with Peggy Campbell, to begin this new pioneer work in Virginia,' reads the Cowboy Church of Virginia's website. 'Beginning with what was thought would only be one church in Wytheville, God blessed and grew the ministry.'
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