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
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
8/5/19  11:01 am
Commenter: Michael Airhart

Conversion therapy isn't counseling, it's a manual to commit abuse and worsen addiction

As a friend of several survivors of conversion therapy, I know that this fraudulent practice: 

  • falsely tells patients and their families that the patient is mentally ill, and then uses shame, judgment, social isolation to treat this "illness" -- thus worsening depression, self-doubt, and addictive and suicidal tendencies
  • discourages families from seeking reputable (often secular) professional therapies that are known to successfully treat depression and addiction 
  • offers "cures" in which patients are told to falsely accuse mothers of being too possessive and falsely accuse fathers of being too distant. Parents are told by these fraudulent therapists to blame each other and to reject their LGBT children. Families are torn apart.

Conversion therapists use lies about the origin of sexual orientation to extort money from patients for extended periods of time until the family realizes that the therapy is a hoax. Counselors should not behave unprofessionally as the conversion therapy model requires them to do, and counselors should not make money from tactics that deliberately reinforce negative self-esteem and suicide in people who are deeply hated by the churches that promote this form of "counseling."

CommentID: 75021