James H Miller, Concerned husband and father of three
Do not ban therapy that people are asking for
BOARD OF COUNSELING DO NOT BAN licensed professionals from providing reparative or “conversion” therapy to children.
Parents of children need the opportunity to personally choose the best medical assistance for their child's needs. Children in crisis and those with identity concerns need therapists who will unbiasedly examine the child’s feelings and motivations and not be automatically labeled or pushed into advocacy of same-sex attraction, transgender ideology and even surgery. The Virginia Department of Health Professions is now categorizing standard mental health therapy as "conversion therapy." These children deserve high-quality standard mental health therapy rather than automatic affirmation. Parents will have to go out of state to find high-quality mental health therapy for their children if the Department of Health Professions requires counselors and other therapy providers to automatically affirm children in what is arguably a fluid and changeable identity but could lead them to serious, and likely permanent, psychological and physical changes should they be encouraged on a path of transition.
I personally know people who have been successfully treated using methods this proposal would ban. They live happy lives now, why ban that happiness for others?