What They Are Saying…
The following material consists of comments, endorsements, suggestions and even criticisms of Janelle’s book, The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction: A Comprehensive Counseling Resource released in March of 2008, published by InterVarsity Press. The comments have not been edited to conform to a particular viewpoint or belief system. They stand as originally submitted. This section is meant to further inspire thoughtfulness and dialogue around this incredibly complex subject. It is also meant to be a place where women and their family members can gain deeper understanding into themselves as well as share their individual and unique journeys as they pertain to emotional dependency, bisexuality, same-sex attractions (SSA) and identities.
If you would like to leave a comment of your own, please feel free to send us a message through our Contact page.
“It is rare to find such a valuable resource. Prayerfully written and yet professionally thorough, Janelle demonstrates a special ability to address these complex matters in an accessible manner. Powerful narratives are deftly woven through comprehensive research and years of practical experience for maximum connection and impact. Therapists, pastoral counselors, mentors, mothers, and, most significantly, women wrestling with sexual identity and emotional dependent patterns will find a gold mine in this book. It sets a new standard in this area of therapy and ministry.”
– Wendy Gritter, national executive director, New Directions Ministries
“Much has been written about male homosexuality, very little about female homosexuality. Janelle Hallman has been a pioneer in this underexplored field. Her wisdom and keen insight flow from an obvious and deep love for the women she has had the honor of serving over many years. The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction will help all who read it to understand and love the precious women who experience same-sex attraction. I highly recommend.”
– Christopher West, M.T.S., LHD Fellow, Theology of the Body Institute
“Janelle Hallman is uniquely qualified to write this book; she is gifted with empathy and high attunement to her same-sex attracted clients. Our profession has long been silent about how to proceed with clients who do not accept lesbianism as who they really are. This new work is therefore must-reading for therapists who truly respect client autonomy and diversity.”
– Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D., director, Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic
“I love books which combine the insights of professional training with the hard-earned lessons of personal experience. You are holding such a book. Over the years, Janelle Hallman has earned widespread respect among her colleagues for her effective ministry to women seeking Christ’s freedom in the midst of their lesbian struggles. This book will be a helpful resource for all who seek deeper effectiveness in this area of ministry.”
– Bob Davies, director emeritus, Exodus International
“Profound and practical. The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction is an essential tool for any Christian therapist who wants to serve women with same-sex attraction truthfully. The book bears the mark of one who has entered into the heart of the matter through years of thoughtful, loving service. Janelle has gentle authority to guide us as we help women to exercise the dignity of their choice.”
– Andy Comiskey, founder and director, Desert Stream Ministries
“What an incredibly valuable resource for professionals and nonprofessionals—and so engaging! Both the woman who is in conflict or confusion about her sexuality and the professional working with her will find an accepting spirit that dismantles shame and will discover hope that empowers healing. Janelle writes with comprehensive understanding, realistic expectations, professional competence, respectful compassion and unconditional love—all based on biblical principles. The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction is certain to help women move from conflictual entrapment to true freedom.”
– Dr. Clifford and Joyce Penner, sex therapists, educators, and authors of The Gift of Sex and The Way to Love Your Wife
“Upon starting counseling, I purchased your book “The Heart of Female Same Sex Attraction”… I held the book for about 3 mos, and JUST started it few weeks back and finished it yesterday.
I believe I was in complete denial and avoided reading it. Well, I read it. Janelle, this was truly written well. I know it wasn’t written for the “client” per se, but all your statements, suggestions, and explanations, were right on. I hadn’t read a book by a Christian author that addressed all that you addressed, and it was accurate. I WILL say, as the client, it was truly HARD to read. It was hard to face the realities. It was hard to see myself categorized as a “profile”… but I also knew that was NOT your heart. I truly felt that you care for your clients (your own and your colleagues’ clients). I did not feel judged in anyway.
Honestly, your book made me feel sorry for counselors. How you all handle the lives of others, amazes me. I also appreciated your book, since this is my first counseling experience, I appreciated reading about boundaries and how therapists are to act per se. Gives me clear understanding in what to expect and what you all experience too.
So all in all to say, thank you for your book. And thank you Janelle for your heart and ministry!”
– A Woman from Colorado
“Congratulations! But better yet, thank you!!! Thank you for your heart that you’ve shown to me and all the other women. Your love, your vision and dogged determination to persist with the struggles and to write this book. Your open heart, acceptance and desire to understand. It’s amazing and wonderful!”
– A special woman
“Your book is fabulous. Thank you. I cannot believe the depth of research and the breadth. It teaches such compassion. You help me to keep from getting sucked into the punitive shaming and shunning so characteristic of the immature Christians who seem to surround me.”
– An email from a mother of a lesbian daughter
“I just wanted to tell you that I just received and read your book yesterday. You so nailed everything! Your book is brilliant!! Easy to read and identify with. Perfect! I don’t want to scare you but it is revolutionary and its impact will make more of a difference that you can imagine. It is the truth and hope that everyone needs to hear and read. I can’t thank you enough!”
– A mother of a lesbian daughter
“It looks like your book is going to become a primary resource for our ministry. I think that this is a book that can grow along with me. I will read it 2 or 3 times, and then refer back to it in the years to come. I’m working to apply many of the things that you suggest for counselors. You book is extremely helpful!”
– An email from an Exodus ministry leader
“I read your book on a recommendation from one of my professors. I came out of the lesbian lifestyle 30 years ago. Back then there was nothing on the subject of female homosexuality and the church where I attended was heavy into legalism. The sum total of the counsel I received at the time was, ‘Don’t do it.’ Anyway, I made it – mostly because God carried me when my own strength failed. But now I just finished your book. WOW – reading it was a ride! You addressed the etiology of female same-sex attraction. I had never heard anything about this before. And sure enough, my story fits!”
– An email from a special woman
“I have just finished reading your book and want to express my appreciation. I am a 28-year-old Christian woman who deals with SSA. I was in counseling from the time I was 15 until last year. The last few years I was with a warm, wonderful woman of whom you – the you I “know” from your book – remind me. Your book helps me understand my deep connection to her and the grief I still feel missing her now that I no longer see her. In spite of a lot of work on accepting my own neediness and a great deal of reassurance from her, I still struggle with shame over my feelings of connection to her. As I read your book more than once I wept with relief at better understanding my feelings and realizing I’m “normal,” at least among people to deal with the things I do. Perhaps I will really internalize at last that it’s okay and relax!
I was also intrigued to learn that not all women with SSA have external gender issues. I have always “looked like a girl” and always thought I was weird because I wasn’t butch. Even among women with SSA I didn’t fit in. It took me the longest time to understand that though my physique remained very feminine, I did have an internal issue, or rather issues, with gender. I never knew until your book, though, that there are others like me, that it’s even a common feature of people with a profile like the one I most identity with (#4).
Lastly, I was struck with your understanding of the profound loneliness we feel at the giving up of the possibility of same-sex relating. If I had to describe this struggle with one word, it would unquestionably be “lonely.” There are a lot of reasons its lonely, but I’ve never had someone understand so well what loneliness there is in facing the possibility of the rest of life without the intimacy I crave.
Thank you for understanding. Thank you for caring so deeply. Thank you for paying such close attention to your clients. Thank you for writing this so needed book so that others my also understand and help.”
– A special woman
“I am in the process of reading your book and I feel as if I am in the same room as you. I struggle with SSA. I am almost done with the book because it feels good to be able to read something from someone that understands what is going on inside of me. Reaching about how you handle or care for your clients has made me long to your client too! I just want to say thank you for caring for the homosexual community. Instead of running from them with fear, you try to understand us. I will continue to read your book and listen to classical music at the same time because the two together make me feel beautiful inside. Thanks again.”
– A special woman
“I don’t usually write to an author, but I need to thank you and express how much your book means to me. The attitude of genuine respect with which you wrote it is especially meaningful, and of course the amount of useful information is so valuable. I am working with several lesbian clients who are all facing childhood trauma. I appreciate these women so much, and feel a sort of holy ground, humble privilege to work with them. Sitting with these outwardly masculinized women, but being the safe place that they choose to open their tender places of pain is some of the most fulfilling work I do. I love the way your book affirms this for me, and helps me to see that some of the things that I am doing just because they feel like the right, Christ-like way to care for these clients, are also therapeutically beneficial. Thanks Janelle. It needed to be done. Thank you for taking on the task and doing such a heartfelt and professional job!”
– A Christian Therapist
“I guess I should say – I’m a huge fan of yours! I am a professional counselor and have thoroughly enjoyed working with men and women with same-sex attraction. I’ve been training myself through your articles and book and a few others I have found. You have become my favorite. You seem to have the same approach I really like. You have truly inspired me to continue working with this population and helping those women to desire to face their struggle and get to know themselves better and be loved. I have a long way to go, but I can only hope I can mirror some of what you do and create an environment for these women to feel save and loved.”
– A professional counselor
“I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your book. I’ll be 35 this year and I have struggled with SSA for as long as I can remember. As I read, I cried at the feelings and memories it brought up. I was reared in a Christian home, but God brought me to my knees three years ago. He has done a mighty work in my life; however, there are many days in which the desire is so strong I feel as though I am going to drown in sorry. I feel as though I progress, then wake up one day only to feel exactly as I did years ago. Anyway, thank you for what you do and than you for the women you help. I don’t think people really know what we go through.”
– A letter from a special woman
“Your book has been very helpful to me. While it is specifically targeted at women, I still think it is a very helpful and outstanding book for men and their parents. I would recommend her to book to all parents of homosexual children.”
– A dad with a gay son
“Unfortunately, I have not had the honor and privilege of meeting you personally however I often felt as though you were right with me as I read through your book.
You often said in your book how you commend women with SSA and the strength they display to confront these issues. I agree with you but I must emphasize that you should and need to be commended for taking on such an overwhelming task. There are times when words really can’t describe feelings of gratitude; however I know that I am safe in saying on behalf of all women with SSA, you are an invaluable jewel. One that is used so mightily by God to provide such safety, care, and nonjudgmental towards a group that is so often isolated and hated by society. You give hope to the hopeless and worth to those who feel worthless.”
– A special woman
“Janelle’s work is so important. There are so few out there that know what she knows about lesbian feelings and the dynamics that go along with it. That she is brave enough and knowledgeable enough to speak and write about it is a true gift to all who know and love someone who is gay and to those who are ignorant. Her works are so rare and insightful that we are truly blessed.”
– A supporter of Janelle
“I recently found, bought, and am in the process of reading your book. I am a woman with SSA. I never knew what my “problem” was. I’ve read many books on homosexuality, but none of them gave me any hope or real explanation of what was going on in the deepest parts of my heart and mind. You are the only person/author I have found that truly can help me.”
– A special woman