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  9:05 pm
Commenter: Anthony Arsenault RN, BScN

Conversion therapy is not therapy

I fully support a consenting adult’s right to seek therapy to address their life struggles. However, as a regulated health care professional who is bound by standards of practice I must look to empirical evidence that supports the effectiveness of an intervention. Regulated/licensed health care professionals are bound by standards of practice that ensures the therapeutic interventions chosen are evidenced-based, unbiased, effective and do no harm.

From what I have heard and read there is no empirical evidence whatsoever to support this “therapy “ as a legitimate, objective, ethical, and evidence-based intervention that results In the achievement of optimal health. Quite to the contrary, there exists only anecdotal support by very few individuals who claim that they are able to control their homosexual orientation and there is no evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, to support that someone has actually “coverted” to a heterosexual orientation. I have heard first hand of  many instances where most of those exposed to this practice have ended up swallowed by guilt and shame which for some became a burden too much to bare leading to suicidal ideation, attempt or successful act. This is precisely why the American and Canadian Psychological Associations consider the practice of conversation therapy to be in direct violation of their standards of practice. 

Using the word “therapy “ in the context of conversion therapy is misleading as are those who provide it. These practitioners are biased in that they have their own agenda when they provide this so-called therapy to struggling individuals. At the very least, Conversion therapy is a practice that remains unsupported by science. At its worst, conversion therapy is biased , agenda-driven and dangerous . 

Please support those who seek to have conversion therapy banned

CommentID: 75608