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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8/6/19  12:00 pm
Commenter: Larry Barnett, LPC

It's time to ban "conversion therapy"

I've been a licensed professional counselor in Chesterfield County for more than 30 years, and I believe "conversion therapy" is irresponsible and counter to the bedrock principles of effective therapeutic relationships. It is never appropriate to use shaming, hypnosis, isolation, and electric shocks to force young people to try and change their sexual orientation or gender identity. Mainstream medical and mental health organizations, like the American Psychological Association, have been speaking out against this for decades. However, in Virginia state-licensed therapists are still permitted to continue this outdated practice.

We should be doing more to protect and support our LGBTQ youth rather than inflict abuse that could lead to increased rates of depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.


Larry Barnett

CommentID: 75075