Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling [18 VAC 115 ‑ 20]
Action Unprofessional conduct - conversion therapy
Comment Period Ended on 8/7/2019
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8/7/19  10:02 pm
Commenter: Kevin O'Brien

Ban so-called "conversion therapy" for minors

While this practice is harmful for people at any age, it's vital that we protect our children by at least banning this practice for minors. There is zero proof that orientation change is possible, and this practice increases a child's self-harm tendencies. 

Nation-wide professional organizations, including the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Academy of Pediatrics, agree that this is a dangerous practice.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry finds no evidence to support the application of any “therapeutic intervention” operating under the premise that a specific sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression is pathological. Furthermore, based on the scientific evidence, the AACAP asserts that such “conversion therapies” (or other interventions imposed with the intent of promoting a particular sexual orientation and/or gender as a preferred outcome) lack scientific credibility and clinical utility. Additionally, there is evidence that such interventions are harmful. As a result, “conversion therapies” should not be part of any behavioral health treatment of children and adolescents. However, this in no way detracts from the standard of care which requires that clinicians facilitate the developmentally appropriate, open exploration of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression, without any pre-determined outcome.


CommentID: 75638