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  9:42 am
Commenter: Mary Ellen Olbrisch

Freedom vs. Coercion

“Conversion therapy” would be one thing if it was freely chosen by an adult who had carefully considered the reasons to attempt change of what is widely agreed based on the best scientific knowledge to be impossible to change, and in such cases it would not require isolation and brain-washing techniques. The reality is that conversion therapy is imposed on adolescents whose freedom is taken away by parental decision at a time of life when this is coercive, harmful and ineffective. The board has experts who have looked at the scientific literature on this topic. It can ban conversion therapy without in any way infringing on legitimate free speech within a non-coercive therapeutic relationship that does not require social isolation of a client or brainwashing techniques. 

CommentID: 74831