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  10:54 am
Commenter: Tommy Blount

Ban conversion therapy

These dangerous and discredited practices are based on the false claim that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) is a mental illness that needs to be cured—a view with no scientific basis. They use shame and rejection to force young to lie about who they are and bury any feelings and emotions deep. This has been proven to lead to low self-esteem, depression, substance abuse and an increased risk of suicide. 

This guidance protects young people from state-licensed therapists in Virginia who falsely claim to parents and youth that being LGBTQ is a mental illness, and therefore taking advantage of parents and harming vulnerable youth. It should be illegal for a healthcare professional to shame a young person into thinking they are mentally ill because they identify as LGBTQ and then forcing them to undergo dangerous and discredited treatment. 

Banning conversion therapy isn’t about taking a religious stance. It’s about protecting and nurturing today’s youth from these discredited and dangerous practices. Too many young people have lost their lives or had them ruined by these practices and they must stop now. 


CommentID: 75264