|Action||Unprofessional conduct - conversion therapy|
|Comment Period||Ends 8/7/2019|
As a Licensed Professional Counselor and owner of a large group therapy practice in Richmond Virginia that serves a large chunk of Richmond’s LGBTQ members, I support the conversion therapy ban because I have witnessed, first hand, the dangerous and harmful effects of this pseudoscientific practice. As Licensed health providers, we have a duty to cause no harm to the individuals we serve. Having a license is what makes us stand apart from unregulated providers who have not had specialized education, training, and clinical supervision. Our licenses communicate a certain professional integrity to the public that ensures we are held to the highest standards when it comes to providing evidence-based treatment. Conversion therapy has been proven to be ineffective, harmful, and life-threatening. While we respect all parents in their parenting decisions and their values (even when they conflict with our own), we also have a duty to protect minors from abuse and neglect. Conversion therapy is a form of abuse and we should be educating parents about the harmful effects, not being complicit with a practice known to lead to self-loathing and suicide. I strongly encourage the Board of Counseling to push forward with guidelines banning the practice of conversion therapy.