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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Psychology
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3/19/19  10:37 pm
Commenter: Alexandra Valliere

Banning Conversion Therapy Saves Lives

Conversion therapy is a dangerous practice that has been widely discredited. The discredited practices of converson therapy are based on the entirely false claim that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer is a mental illness that must be cured. There is no scientific basis for these claims and they are false. Sexual and gender identity is not a mental illness, no matter who a person is. Conversion therapy is harmful. Conversion therapy uses rejection, shame, and psychological abuse to force young people to attempt to change who they are and these practices are known to be extremely dangerous as they can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and even suicide attempts which often are successful suicides. State-licensed therapists in Virginia are falsely claiming to parents that their children are suffering from a mental illness and are using those claims to place young people in conversion therapy. No mental health professional, whose job it should be to care for a young person should they need help for an actual problem, should be able to manipulate parents toward a practice that can and very possibly will cause the damage a parent wishes to avoid. This guidance protects young people from therapists such as these. There have been too many deaths and too many families and lives torn apart from the effects of conversion therapy. We can't allow one more young person to be targeted by these dangerous and discredited practices.

CommentID: 70366