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  7:05 pm
Commenter: Robert L Vazzo, LMFT, LPCC


First, it's not Conversion Therapy.  No therapist with the minimum of ethics would try to force a child or adult to try to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. This term has been adopted by the Gay Rights Movement to malign and marginalize therapists like me who help clients explore the possible origins of their homosexuality and how it might or might not coincide with their values and goals in life.

Research has shown that for many people, especially youth, there is fluidity in sexual orientation.  If a young man or woman comes to my office and says, "I would like a traditional marriage with the opposite sex and would like to explore with you the possibility of achieving that goal, s/he has the right to explore that goal with a therapist. The State has no right to decide what a person's therapeutic goals should or should not be. 

Homosexuality does not have to be a mental disorder to justify addressing it in treatment.  Therapists treat a whole host of issues that are not mental disorders including marital infidelity, spousal abuse, shyness, frequent masturbation, spiritual concerns . . . the list goes on and on.

There has NEVER been a valid complaint against any practitioners with any licensing board in these United States because therapists like me are well trained and educated in law and ethics. All complaints have been against lay people, most with religious affiliations.

I urge you NOT to pass any regulation banning this therapy. The attempt to ban it is based on politics, not science, and represents activists' attempts to silence those whose needs and values differ from their own.  Diversity means accepting all people with their differing needs, views and values! Please do not pass these regulations.

CommentID: 75143