Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
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4/9/19  6:26 pm
Commenter: Doris A. Dippel

Unbiased Counseling

I am a clinical specialist with a Master’s degree in Psychiatric/Community Mental Health nursing with training in individual, group and family counseling. A major tenet of our counseling foundation is that the client(s) should be allowed to explore any aspect of their life that troubles them or creates conflict. The fact that a client would come to me with questions about their sexuality opens the door for discussion of all aspects of that query and their desire to establish their sexual identity without censure from me regardless of what is their decision.

To say it is wrong for me to counsel the client(s) if they wish to define their biological gender more definitely, while at the same time giving me free rein to direct them toward transgender identification, is contrary to the basic foundation of counseling and restricts the client’s privilege to receive an unbiased viewpoint from me. Client-directed therapy should allow the client to express their questions and wishes and permit me, the counselor, to work with them toward that goal. To legally ban that freedom dismembers what counseling is really about and redefines its meaning and substance. It also incorporates bias into the counseling relationship which is never supposed to be evident. 


CommentID: 71078