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  4:55 pm
Commenter: Daniel Smallwood

Please don't ban proper medical treatment

I am very much against the ban on counselling for those suffering from gender identity disorder.  I was diagnosed with this disorder years ago, and then went through years of hormone therapy and surgeries in multiple places on my body. While these things helped for a time, they never removed the underlying psychological problems. Years later, with a gun in my mouth in utter despair, I realized my mistake. I didnt kill myself. I was able to undo some of the damage, but my body is forever mutilated and does not produce sex hormones; I have significantly higher risk of osteoporosis and several varieties of cancer.  Add to this the medical complications more directly related to the surgeries, which i wont get in to.  Moreover, many things most people take for granted are forever impossible to me. Like having children. If someone had attempted to counsel me away from physically altering my body, I might be healthy today. I might have kids. But I lived in California, where all such treatments are illegal.  It is very dangerous to keep altering children's physiology based on a problem that is psychological in nature. Operating on healthy bodies to fix the mind harkens back to the era of lobotomies.  Please have mercy on these young people who will have to live with crushing debility their whole lives if their mental problems are not treated as they should be: by therapy.  Thank you. 

CommentID: 75460