Agencies | Governor
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 Ends 8/7/2019
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8/7/19  2:12 pm
Commenter: Lenny Cohen

former VA resident on "conversion therapy"

Please ban so-called “conversion therapy” on young people who need their voices heard. That ex-gay nonsense will protect them from a dangerous and discredited practice that really won’t change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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.

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.

These harmful practices use rejection, shame, and psychological abuse to force young people to try and change who they are. These practices are known to be extremely dangerous and can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and even suicide attempts.

No young person should ever be shamed by a mental health professional into thinking who they are is wrong. Mental health professionals should provide care that is ethical and affirming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people.

We can’t allow one more young person to be targeted and hurt by these dangerous and discredited practices.

CommentID: 75384