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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8/4/19  10:24 am
Commenter: Clark Coleman

Therapy is important for child sexual abuse victims

Numerous studies have shown that child victims of same-sex abuse are significantly more likely to identify as homosexual in their teen and adult years. For example, victims of clerical sex abuse scandals of recent decades have been surveyed and these results indicate a large increase in homosexual identification as adults among these victims.

The conventional wisdom in our society is that sexual identity is ingrained by the time of birth and that therapy cannot change this identification. However, if that were always the case, then child sexual abuse victims would be no more likely to identify as homosexual in adulthood than any other group of adults.

Given the obvious likelihood that these victims did NOT have a homosexual inclination from birth, it would be tragic to prevent them from seeking therapy to reverse an inclination that was forced upon them by an abuser. If would also be unjust to punish a counselor who tries to help them overcome this effect of their abuse.

Kowtowing to a false dogma at the expense of those who need therapy would be unconscionable. Making such therapy a violation of the standards of professional conduct for counselors should be opposed strongly.

CommentID: 74967