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  11:54 pm
Commenter: Jennifer White

Define conversion therapy first

As a mother and a pediatric nurse, I am deeply troubled this proposal to ban conversion therapies BEFORE defining what is and is not part of the banned therapy. If the goal of the ban is truly to cause no harm and limit harm where is is foreseeable then there should be a clear definition of what this ban would encompass before a vote is held. Throughout therapy, a psychologist should have the ability to appropriately address concerns as they arise and to delve deeper when necessary to determine the root cause of a patient’s struggles without fear of punishment. It would be a true harm to the patient, especially a child, to only address a part of their concerns while glossing over, covering up, or ignoring other parts instead of being able to determine how all of the concerns affect the child as a whole person.

Parents deserve the right to seek mental health counseling for their children that will allow the child to navigate, with the help of a psychologist, the root causes of an issues they are having where indicated as therapy progresses. 

Bottom line- define what is and is not to be considered conversion therapy as it pertains to practicing psychologists BEFORE banning a therapy that is currently undefined. 

CommentID: 75732