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  9:21 pm
Commenter: Amanda Pohl

Ban Conversion Therapy

I am writing to ask the Board of Counseling to ban the practice of conversion therapy in Virginia. Not only does research demonstrate this practice ineffective, it is also harmful and, therefore, unethical for licensed practitioners. As a social worker, I implore the Board to approve regulations consistent with the established evidence from recognized professional associations determining that this practice is unprofessional, harmful, and unethical. 

Research shows that those who are not accepted for their sexual orientation are eight times more likely to have attempted suicide than their LGBTQ youth peers who were not rejected by their family and community. Given the high risk for LGBTQ youth, it is a matter of public health to ban this practice and send a message that sexual orientation change efforts will not be condoned in Virginia by professionals licensed as counselors. 

Amanda Pohl

CommentID: 75619