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Department of Health Professions
 
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Board of Psychology
 
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3/19/19  7:04 pm
Commenter: H Smith, Virginia Tech

Support for Conversion Therapy Ban
 

Conversion therapy or any other efforts to influence or change a client’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or other similar identities are unethical, and harmful, in numerous ways. As clinicians, we are ethically bound to do no harm to and pursue treatments that are appropriate and are the best possible solution to the issue(s) the client is motivated to change. In addition, sexual orientation and gender identity, whether heterosexual, homosexual, cisgender, transgender, or anything in between, are normal variants of social identities that everyone holds. Because of this, sexual orientation itself has shifted from a previous pathological perspective and is now deemed a normal human experience. Gender dysphoria, being a functionally impairing experience, is only deemed pathological due to the psychological ramifications. Knowing these facts, inducing harm on your clients because of any moral, personal, or other issue is unethical as evidenced by the nature of the subjects and how they cannot be changed, influenced, etc. More importantly, sexual orientation and gender identity/expression do not need to be changed, in fact they are prominent cultural identities for clients and it is our duty to approach what we do and do not know with unconditional empathy in order to fulfill our ethical duty to serve our clients in the best way that we can.

CommentID: 70294