Conversion Therapy is Unethical Practice
SAMHSA has provided 3 compelling points relevant to considerations of conversion therapy:
- Diversity regarding gender identity and expression is normal
- The premise on which conversion therapy is based is not supported by research; and
- Interventions such as conversion therapy can be harmful and should not be considered viable treatment options.
These points clearly indicate that conversion therapy is an unethical practice that is not endorsed by professional counseling and psychology organizations. This position has been affirmed, in various ways, by the American Counseling Association as well as other reputable organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers.
I appreciate the Board of taking the step of joining other states and ensuring that licensed counselors in Virginia do not engage in unethical practice and may not refer to individuals who offer this practice.