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
8/1/19  5:22 pm
Commenter: Lucy Cupp, Retired Educator

Pending Counselor Gag Order

I am very concerned about the efforts to limit treatment options and approaches counselors can use in helping their clients with life issues, especially those related to gender identity confusion. Please do not limit counselors' assessment of and treatment options in relation to clients who are struggling with gender issues. To tell clinicians and clients that they cannot legally work towards embracing the biological nature of their genetaila as their true gender in spite of their contrary feelings, is removing an option that may be the best one for the given client and avoid even greater harm and regret in the future. This is documented in a statistically sufficient quantity of cases to demonstrate its appropriateness in a large enough percentage of those who have chosen this clinical approach. Clients and clinicians should be able to mutually pursue this treatment course without fear of legal repercussions. Yes, there are those who do not respond well to this approach, but there are multitudes of those who strongly regret not sticking with their born with biological anatomy  as their accepted gender identity. Also, there are multitudes who, with counsel, came to embrace their biological identity and have no regrets in doing so. To make it illegal for them to have the benefit of counsel to this end is abusive. And, please don't insult our intelligence by stating that counselling aimed at helping a person accept their biological anatomical gender doesn't work and is even harmful. A lot of us know the abundance of evidence that that shows otherwise and calls your motives and knowledge into question.

CommentID: 74740