Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Psychology
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
3/19/19  6:24 pm
Commenter: Laura Mayer, George Mason University MSW Student

Ban Conversion Therapy

As a MSW student, a crisis intervenrionist and an Applied Suicide Interventions Skills Trainer, I strongly disagree with conversion therapy and have witnessed first hand the devestating effects. Exploring a clients sexuality is not conversion therapy and I strongly disagree with any licensed professional who uses these concepts interchangeably and who practices with the intention of utilizing conversion therapy techniques when exploring a clients sexuality. 

This guidance will protect youth from so-called “conversion therapy,” a dangerous and discredited practice aimed at changing 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 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.

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

CommentID: 70275