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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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Department of Health Professions
Board
Board of Counseling
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4/16/19  9:40 am
Commenter: Lindsay Kozachuk

Support Conversion Therapy Ban - It is a dangerous practice
 

I understand that some commenting here are afraid that this ban will take away their religious rights, however conversion therapy has been discredited as an effective means of "therapy". Sadly, it has been shown to have lasting harmful effects. While using religion and exploring one's sexuality in therapy is certainly helpful, actively imposing one's values onto a client, especially a minor, about sexuality is unethical and dangerous. 

As a counselor, my ethical and first duty is to my clients, to do no harm. Thus, this ban would prevent harm and support ethical, responsible practice statewide for vulnerable youth and marginalized adults. Perhaps this ban could be a step towards decreasing the high rates of suicide in this population. Additionally, it would send a message of support to our neighbors and loved ones, promoting safety and acceptance for all of us. 

Personally, it causes me pain to know conversion therapy is continuing to be practiced. I don't think it is often we have the opportunity to prevent pain and suffering through policy. While I am proud to live in a state that is having this discussion, I hope to be prouder still should it pass. 

 

CommentID: 71451