Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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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5/12/19  6:57 pm
Commenter: Lance Vanlewen

Ban Conversion Therapy

Please pass this important guidance to protect young people in Virginia from so-called “conversion therapy,” a dangerous and discredited practice that falsely claims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

These dangerous and discredited practices are based on the false claim that being 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 take advantage of parents and harm vulnerable youth by claiming that being LGBTQ is a mental illness.

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 LGBTQ young people.

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

CommentID: 72188