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  12:02 am
Commenter: Sabine Balden

Conversion Therapy

I know I don't need to emphasize to the board members that these so called "therapies are both ineffective and harmful, the science is very clear on that.
But I can tell you that one of the worst things that can happen to a child is to be told that their very being, their every desire and innocent expression of their personhood is somehow wrong, and sick, and needs to be fixed.  What they don't need is to be shames and humiliated and terrified and made to despise themselves, all in the name of "a cure".

Since conversion therapy has been shown to be ineffective and harmful, the only reason to subject a minor to that is for charlatans to make money off of parents who persist in believing that homosexuality is some sort of aberration and that it can be cured.

To allow a therapy that is harmful, in order to satisfy the ignorant and uninformed fears of parents is immoral and unethical, and it is a recipe for abuse.

The entire point of having a Board of Counseling is to prevent harmful practices and to protect patients from being subjected to harmful therapies.  The fact that the parents often initiate the request is immaterial, as they are not experts on the causes and frequency annd normalcy of homosexuality.  They are fearful for the future of their children, but that fear is based on false information and the minors in their care should not have to pay the price.  A far better "therapy" would be to inform the parents that their children need their love and support, that homosexuality is a normal variation of sexual expression, and that there is no "cure".

Please use your authority to protect minors from abusive practices disguised as curative therapies.

CommentID: 75191