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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8/2/19  8:43 am
Commenter: Rebecca Dillard

Strengths Based Counseling

Please allow counselors to do their jobs.  When a patient comes to a counselor with concerns it is the professional duty of the counselor to help with those concerns, no matter what the counselor feels about those concerns.  Please do not legislate what happens between a counselor and those they are treating.  Do not limit the counselors ability to help by declaring the concerns of the patient null and void by law.  No counselor can do their job if they are not allowed to help a patient in whatever their goals may be.  If a patient wishes to move past feelings of attraction that make the patient uncomfortable, why keep a counselor from helping?  If a patient wants to feel more comfortable with those feelings, it is also the counselors job to help in that sitution as well.  If a patient feels they are the  wrong gender, it is not just the counselors right but moral imperitive to help the patient understand and get to the root of those feelings and make an informed decision about what to do next to live that patient's best life possible.  No counselor should be held back in helping their patient because they fear that they will be punished by the law for doing so.  Please don't legislate the ability to help patients out of the profession of counseling.

The laws of our commonwealth can't tell a person they are gay or straight or male or female.  They also cannot tell our counselors whether their patients are gay or straight or male or female.  These are hard to grapple with feelings, and ideas.  Counselors must feel they can help patients navigate these grey areas without fearing for their own professional and personal lives because of laws that don't take into account the nuance of the counseling relationship.

CommentID: 74815