Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
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4/18/19  1:13 am
Commenter: Kenneth Cornelius

Do not succumb to the current cultural fad

One of the mental health therapy's guiding lights has been to allow the client to establish goals in treatment.  If a client wishes to change their compulsions, habits, thought patterns, etc., the therapist should attempt to help them do it.  And so it follows that if a young patient wants to change their sexual inclinations to a more healthful (dare I say "normal") way of life, the profession should help them to do it.  Above all, it should not ban such therapy!  Indeed, it appears to me that the mental health therapy profession is attempting to PROMOTE therapy that would take young people TOWARD unhealthful and more dangerous ways of life.  The data on these lifestyles are clear:  homosexual/transsexual/etc. lifestyles lead to more unhappiness and more physical health problems.  So to me this proposal has it precisely backwards.  If any type of therapy should be banned, it would seem that therapy having a stance which in effect says that such a lifestyle is perfectly fine if that is what you want (or think you want) would be banned! 

Today's culture has jumped the rails--including the medical profession.  To wit:  Surgeons are performing potentially dangerous procedures which can impose lifelong disfigurement on perfectly normal patients who want only to "look better:" physicians are prescribing hormonal drugs on young children with the goal of changing their gender--this when every normal person knows that children of any age are not capable of  "knowing" what gender they "want" to be with any permanence;  even worse, surgeons are also physically modifying the gender of young people and adults based on the alleged "desire" of the "patient."  These are travesties and violate the ancient mandate to first "do no harm" to patients.  As I previously stated, the truly scientific data are clear that people who want to do these things are generally NOT happier or in better health over the long term.  Mental health therapy is now proposing to jump on this terrible train that will only lead to more unhappiness and worse health outcomes for their clients over the course of their lives.  

And for main stream therapists to attempt to ban therapy that has a chance to lead people, especially young people, in a direction that has the chance to actually improve their life and health is just arrogance in the extreme.  I can think of nothing more dangerous than for a profession to ban such therapy.  Such a result is not only wrong from a therapeutic and health aspect, but it is also wrong from a legal perspective. 

Parents are clearly legally responsible for the care of their children, unless the situaltion is beyond any doubt posing threats to the child.  And even the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that  banning so-called conversion therapy would violate the rights of therapists who have chosen to offer such therapy.  Your proposed policy is nothing more than an effort to stifle and silence therapists who would offer this therapy.  In short this policy would have the direct and immediate effect of censoring speech of health professionals in Virginia.  WITHDRAW THIS PROPOSAL--YOUR SUCCESSORS WILL LOOK BACK ON THIS AS A WELL INTENTIONED BUT SIMPLY WRONG POLICY THAT HAS NOT HELPED, BUT HAS HURT COUNTLESS PEOPLE.  DON'T FALL INTO A TRAP HAVING NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BE PART OF THE CULTURAL FAD OF THE TIMES.

CommentID: 71670