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  10:15 pm
Commenter: Jeffrey Harwood

Ban Conversion Therapy for Minors

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

I am a survivor of conversion therapy. I can tell you from first-hand experience that this fraudulent practice is damaging. It based on shame. It is based on discredited theories surrounding sexuality and gender. It hinders the development of healthy relationships.

Because of my experience in conversion therapy, I am now in legitimate therapy with a licensed psychologist. We are working through issues regarding shame, guilt, and anger. A few of the consequences that I have suffered due to conversion therapy are a loss of empathy towards others, a difficulty making meaningful connections with others, and a lack of trust in authority figures.

I beg of you to vote in favor of banning conversion therapy for minors by state-licensed practioners.

CommentID: 75647