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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Health Professions
Guidance Document Change: Consistent with the established position of the NASW, the Board considers “conversion therapy” or “sexual orientation change efforts” to be services that have the potential to be a danger to clients, especially minors. Thus, under regulations governing practitioners licensed or registered by the Board, practicing conversion therapy/sexual orientation change efforts with minors could result in a finding of misconduct and disciplinary action against the licensee or registrant.
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5/7/19  12:27 pm
Commenter: Catherina Hurlburt

Conversion therapy is harmful to minors
 
As the parent of a transgender son, who graduated college with honors and is a healthy and fulfilled young adult who now feels whole and happy, I am writing to support guidance that recommends against so-called conversion therapy. Adults have silenced the voices and personhood of young gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, agender/asexual youth by forcing them to undergo this dangerous so-called therapy. No one is "silencing" so-called counselors who push this unfounded "therapy." We are asking minors be protected from being forced to undergo this abusive practice that ignores their well-being and wholeness for who they are -- in favor of personal religious beliefs that erase who they are as individuals. 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. Please frame the guidance to acknowledge that so-called conversion therapy is a harmful practice that puts youth in danger. Thank you.