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Board of Psychology
 

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3/12/19  8:17 am
Commenter: Kirsten O'Nell

Conversion Therapy is Torture
 

15 states already ban conversion therapy due to the harm it imposes on participants.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being LGBTQI but there is something deeply wrong with someone who preaches conversion therapy. Conversion therapy actively harms a person's self worth and that is with them for life. Ban this awful practice for good.

CommentID: 70067
 

3/14/19  6:29 pm
Commenter: Alliance for a Progressive Virginia

APV supports Guidance Document 125-9, on the Practice of Conversion Therapy
 

Dear Virginia Board of Psychology,

The Alliance for a Progressive Virginia is pleased to support Guidance Document 125-9, on the Practice of Conversion Therapy, which would protect youth under the age of 18 from so-called “conversion therapy” at the hands of licensed psychologists in Virginia. APV is an all-volunteer, multi-issue organization with members throughout the Commonwealth. We are dedicated to promoting economic fairness, social justice and good government.

Conversion therapy, sometimes referred to as “reparative therapy,” “ex-gay therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts,” is a medically useless and extremely dangerous set of practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This includes efforts to change behaviors or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex. To be clear, there is no evidence that these techniques can accomplish what they claim to be able to do. Instead there is strong evidence that SOCE is a dangerous and destructive practice especially when used on children. It is important to understand that conversion therapy does not include psychotherapy that aims to provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices. Nor does it include counseling for a person seeking to transition from one gender to another. Conversion therapy presupposes a successful outcome and then attempts to force the “patient” into that outcome. The inevitable failure is always the fault of the subject and the damage done, especially to already vulnerable populations can be devastating.

There is no credible evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.  In fact, conversion therapy poses critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer young people, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior, and even suicide. Nearly all the nation’s leading mental health associations, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy have examined conversion therapy and issued cautionary position statements on these practices.

Research shows that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers. Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt. Young people who experience family rejection based on their sexual orientation, including being subjected to conversion therapy, face especially serious health risks. Research reveals that LGB young adults who report higher levels of family rejection during adolescence are 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.  

Existing law provides for licensing and regulation of various mental health professionals, including physicians and surgeons, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors.

Virginia law already prohibits discredited and unsafe practices by licensed therapists.

This guidance would prevent licensed mental health providers in Virginia from performing conversion therapy with a patient under 18 years of age, regardless of the willingness of a parent or guardian to authorize such efforts. The guidance will curb harmful practices known to produce lifelong damage to those who are subjected to them and help ensure the health and safety of LGBTQ youth. We thank you for proposing this important guidance.

 

Sincerely,

Rhonda Hening

President, Alliance for a Progressive Virginia

CommentID: 70073
 

3/18/19  5:56 am
Commenter: Deborah Hawkins

Enforce a standard of care; clarify the practice of CT is unacceptable
 

My name is Deborah Hawkins and I’m a Virginia licensed Marriage & Family Therapist.Our standards of practice say a licensed counselor shall: “Be able to justify all services rendered to clients as necessary and appropriate for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes”[1]. The APA determined in 1973…that’s forty-five years ago…that homosexuality is not to be classified as a mental disorder. Therefore, a professional counselor cannot diagnosis nor treat homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Homophobic attitudes have been institutionalized in nearly every aspect of our society including social and religious circles. The strong desire to be like others and accepted may cause LGBTQ individuals and/or their families to want to identify with the dominant culture or their religious community, free from discrimination and social devaluation. As a group, LGBTQ children experience unique stressors and developmental challenges. They develop depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidality at higher rates than those in the general population.[2] So there’s an important role for counseling with this population dealing with homophobic stigma.

Psychologists must practice to an accepted standard of care. That means using “evidenced based” treatments – peer reviewed treatments that rely on methods proven to be safe and effective, with a goal of improve quality of life, relieve symptoms and boosting a sense of well-being. Evidenced-based treatments for children might be cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy and play therapies. Conversion therapy is not evidence-based. It isn’t really therapy at all: It’s total, unadulterated quackery, a painful process of humiliation and degradation that only breeds shame, self-loathing, and despair. While contemporary versions are less shocking and extreme than those of the past, they are equally devoid of scientific validity and pose serious dangers —especially to minors.

Would we allow a physician to offer a similarly fraudulent treatment based on utterly debunked science? For example, would we support treating cancer by giving a regime of coffee enemas and vitamins? There is no evidence that efforts to alter sexual orientation or gender identity by CT talk therapy are effective, beneficial, or necessary, and since CT interventions carry the risk of significant harm, they are contraindicated.[3] [4]Additionally standards say that psychologists must practice only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience and appropriate professional experience. There is no Virginia accredited college, university, or continuing ed course that teaches or provides residents supervision on conversion therapy. Therefore, a psychologist cannot legitimately be competent in CT.

To summarize, conversion therapy is 1. unethical as it doesn’t meet an acceptable standard of care; 2. No psychologist could have received accredited training for it. 3. it is immensely harmful quackery. Government cannot free people from stigma. However, you can combat stigma by banning the use of CT by licensed psychologists.

Thank you.   Deborah Hawkins, L.M.F.T. license # 071700110

 

[1] Virginia Board of Counseling, Standards of Practice, Section 18VAC115-20-130

[2] Cochran SD, Mays VM, Sullivan JG. Prevalence of mental disorders, psychological distress, and mental health services use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003;71:53-61.

[3] American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Policy Statement on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Civil Rights, revised and approved by Council 2009. Available at: http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/policy_statements/sexual_ orientation_gender_identity_and_civil_rights. Accessed September 30, 2011.

[4] American Psychiatric Association. Position statement on therapies focused on attempts to change sexual orientation (reparative or conversion therapies). Am J Psychiatry. 2000;157:1719- 1721

 

CommentID: 70084
 

3/18/19  3:49 pm
Commenter: Equality Virginia

Re: Support for Guidance Document 125-9, on the Practice of Conversion Therapy
 

Dear Virginia Board of Psychology,

 

Equality Virginia is pleased to support Guidance Document 125-9, on the Practice of Conversion Therapy, which would protect youth under the age of 18 from so-called “conversion therapy” at the hands of licensed psychologists in Virginia. Equality Virginia is the leading advocacy organization in Virginia seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

 

Conversion therapy, sometimes referred to as “reparative therapy,” “ex-gay therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts,” is a set of practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This includes efforts to change behaviors or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex. Conversion therapy does not include psychotherapy that aims to provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices. Nor does it include counseling for a person seeking to transition from one gender to another.

 

There is no credible evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.  In fact, conversion therapy poses critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer young people, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior, and even suicide. Nearly all the nation’s leading mental health associations, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy have examined conversion therapy and issued cautionary position statements on these practices.

 

Research shows that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers.[1] Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt.[2] Young people who experience family rejection based on their sexual orientation, including being subjected to conversion therapy, face especially serious health risks. Research reveals that LGB young adults who report higher levels of family rejection during adolescence are 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.[3] 

 

Virginia law already prohibits discredited and unsafe practices by licensed therapists. This guidance would prevent licensed psychologists in Virginia from performing conversion therapy with a patient under 18 years of age, regardless of the willingness of a parent or guardian to authorize such efforts. The guidance will curb harmful practices known to produce lifelong damage to those who are subjected to them and help ensure the health and safety of LGBTQ youth. We thank you for proposing this important guidance.

 

Sincerely,

Equality Virginia

info@equalityvirginia.org

804-643-4816

Equalityvirginia.org

 


[1] 2011 CDC, “Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12.”

[2]  Arnold H. Grossman & Anthony R. D’Augelli, “Transgender Youth and Life-Threatening Behaviors,” 37(5) Suicide Life Threat Behav. 527 (2007).

[3] Caitlyn Ryan et al., “Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young Adults,” 123 Pediatrics 346 (2009).

CommentID: 70090
 

3/18/19  4:36 pm
Commenter: Rhonda Thissen, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Virginia

NAMI Virginia Urges a Ban on Conversion Therapy in Virginia Psychology Practice
 

To Whom It May Concern:

On behalf of the Virginia state organization of the National Allilance on Mental Illness, also known as NAMI Virginia, I write in support of Guidance Document 125-9, which would protect youth under the age of 18 from so-called “conversion therapy” in Virginia psychological practice. NAMI is a national, state and local alliance with a mission of improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness through education, support and advocacy.  As a movement, we reject the practice of conversion therapy on individuals of any age, but in particular on children and youth under age 18.  

There is no credible evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.  In fact, conversion therapy poses critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer young people, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior, and even suicide. Along with NAMI and our fellow advocates at Mental Health America, nearly all the nation’s leading mental health associations, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy have examined conversion therapy and issued cautionary position statements on these practices.

Virginia law already prohibits discredited and unsafe practices by licensed therapists.  This guidance would prevent licensed mental health providers in Virginia from performing conversion therapy with a patient under 18 years of age, regardless of the willingness of a parent or guardian to authorize such efforts. The guidance will curb harmful practices known to produce lifelong damage to those who are subjected to them and help ensure the health and safety of LGBTQ youth. We thank you for proposing this important guidance.

We strongly urge the adoption of this guidance for licensed psychologists in Virginia.

Sincerely,

Rhonda Thissen, MSW

Executive Director

NAMI Virginia

CommentID: 70091
 

3/18/19  10:08 pm
Commenter: Teresa Carver

DO NOT Silence Faith-Based Counselors
 

Do not punish licensed counselors for helping patients overcome their unwanted sexual feelings by affirming biological realities concerning male and female. .counselors should NEVER be ALLOWED to help a minor client to explore and facilitate same-sex feelings, attractions and behaviors, or even to “change” their sex all together.  

God does tell us of these days coming.  Read your Bible, the book of Revelations - - it was foretold of these days and what will happen!  Prepare your soul!

CommentID: 70094
 

3/18/19  10:08 pm
Commenter: Ernestine Scott

Conversion Therapy
 

i am a Christian and also a RN. I do not believe we should teach our children that there is anything other than male and female. Biology proves gender even if outer body is changed. I think counselors should be able to counsel as such. I do not think counselors should be told how to counsel.

CommentID: 70095
 

3/18/19  10:12 pm
Commenter: Raymond E Grant

Banning any counseling on unwanted same-sex attraction is unconstitutional
 

To deny a counsellee the information that unwanted same sex attraction can be overcome is forcing a viewpoint that is harmful - the objective of counseling should be to give alternatives and provide support to the counsellee's decision.  Denying the counselor's right to speak freely of all the alternatives is inherently unconstitutional.

CommentID: 70096
 

3/18/19  10:22 pm
Commenter: Richard W Firth

ALLOW COUNSELING OF HOMOSEXUALS
 

This is a spiritual issue, not a secular one and must treat it as such with grave consequences for not treating it as such.  God hates this sin of ABOMINATION because of the 57 serious and deadly health issues it can cause when practiced.  God wiped out the whole cites of Sodom and Gemorrah because the people failed to repent of it and He is currently ravaging over a third of the U. S. with Noah type flooding, catstrophic tornadoes, droughts, wild fires and it will continue until we repent.

Therefore for the protection of everyone in this state from God's continuing wrath please do not stop any attempt  to get these individuals to repent

CommentID: 70097
 

3/18/19  10:28 pm
Commenter: Brian Prindle

Telling counselors what they are not allowed to talk about is a violation of free speech.
 

Counselors can have very different understandings of what is helpful to their patients based upon their extensive experience and education. To limit what they can talk about because the State of Virginia takes a position on dealing with personal issues is an attempt to "close" the issue in the eyes of the state. When it comes to very personal issues, there is no way anyone should try and define with strict language the total understanding of the issue.  This amounts to a violation of a person's freedom of speech. We don't have to agree, but we do need to respect the qualifications of those who see certain issues quite differently. This is especially the case when one political party seeks to "enforce" their world view on another, and creates a very dangerous precedent for further "state endorsement" of the only right understanding on issues involved in a person's life.

CommentID: 70098
 

3/18/19  10:31 pm
Commenter: S Dorham

Maintain Client/Clinician privilege
 

Client/Clinician privilege means conversations and treatment plans within therapy sessions are confidential.  What is discussed between client and therapist is no business of any legislator, and it is certainly no place to impose legislation. 

Down with micromanagement!  Up with trusting licensed professionals to do their jobs without governmental oversight!

CommentID: 70099
 

3/18/19  10:31 pm
Commenter: William Mohlenhoff

Comment on Guidance Documents
 
The guidance document appears to be incomplete as it does not allow counselors and psychologists to help those who are struggling with same sex attraction or gender confusion. I strongly oppose the passage of this document as it will cause more harm to individuals who want help with same sex attraction and gender confusion but the counselor or psychologist is prevented from actually helping them. Individuals seeking help to turn away from same sex attraction or those seeking to live as their birth gender need love and support, not to be told by a counselor or psychologist that they cannot be helped.
CommentID: 70100
 

3/18/19  10:33 pm
Commenter: Sarah Lam

Accept biological reality
 

Acceptance of their biological reality should be every person's right, and counselors should be free to help anyone who asks for it. To try to prevent this is criminal.

CommentID: 70101
 

3/18/19  10:34 pm
Commenter: Cordell Burch

First Amendment at Risk
 

As you know, the First Amendment enshrines freedom of religion and freedom of speech in the U. S. Constitution. The proposed regulation violates both. It allows only affirmation of a person's gender confusion, not correction.  Clearly this is a violation of freedom of religion as no Christian counselor could conform to this restriction. And it is a violation of freedom of speech since to state the obvious, that males are males and females are females, is not permitted. Please withdraw this extreme regulation. Thank you.

CommentID: 70102
 

3/18/19  10:34 pm
Commenter: Private Citizen with Graduate Degree in Counseling

Guidelines for Counselors Regarding Gender Issues
 
Please do not establish any guidelines that will restrict any trained mental health professional from counseling clients dealing with gender issues. Counselors need to be completely free to ascertain the underlying cause of gender issues. This can range from biological factors, environmental issues of child rearing or the influence of behaviors of others that have left an impact, or simply confusion brought about by the media and/or debate of the issue itself. Counselors should be able to guide a person in whatever way is deemed appropriate in each individual situation once the underlying factor is determined.To deny a counselor the right to treat a counselor the way they determine best for that individual is malpractice!If counseled do not feel comfortable that they are getting proper treatment, they can change counselors.Faith-based counselors are not the enemy. They have a perspective that can help a lot of struggling. Professional faith based counselors operate from a position of great care and respect of the person, regardless of their issue. Do not make the grave mistake of limiting their abilities to help those with gender based issues.
CommentID: 70103
 

3/18/19  10:36 pm
Commenter: Mike Neely

Please respect faith based counseling
 

Olease respect the role of faith in our country. Faith is a sacred and fundamental right to every citizen in this country and when our nation takes any actions to compartmentalizations our faith it is an infringement on our Rights. 

CommentID: 70104
 

3/18/19  10:39 pm
Commenter: Joseph Ellena

Free Speech, Freedom of Association: Counselors Should be Able to Offer Patients What they Seek
 

Do not try to punish counselors for helping patients overcome their UNWANTED sexual feelings. 

CommentID: 70105
 

3/18/19  10:44 pm
Commenter: Marilyn Shreckhise

Penalizing counselors for discussing issues is wrong
 

I am not a counselor, but have an understanding of what is supposed to be happening when folks go to counseling. It seems it would be counterproductive to the purpose of talk therapy if a counselor is going to be penalized for talking to their clients about their issues and all the possibilities for healing.  Seems like if a child feels confused about who they are, all efforts should be made to help them clarify the issues.  If a person is uncomfortable in their skin, why can't they have honest help trying to reach answers?  Holding the counselor's feet to the fire because they are trying to help is not the right way to go about this.  Drop the Progressive Agenda and allow people to do their work without all the regulations.

CommentID: 70106
 

3/18/19  10:44 pm
Commenter: Karen Dawkins

Do not punish counselors for helping patients who wish to overcome unwanted sexual feelings
 

Counselors should be allowed to do their jobs of helping patients in whatever way the patient wants and needs to be helped. If a patient wants to overcome unwanted sexual feelings, the counselor should not be punished for helping a patient as they desire. And, if a patient has a feeling that they should be the opposite sex of what their genetics has already determined for them, they need to know the biological facts of the sex and the unhealthy and permanent changes that will occur if they still wish to become transgender. Patients need to know all the facts and not be steered into an unhealthy lifestyle. 

CommentID: 70107
 

3/18/19  10:52 pm
Commenter: Glyn Roberts

Do not punish counselors for helping patients who wish to overcome unwanted sexual feelings
 

This is dumb. The victim of any such rule is trhe patient.

CommentID: 70108
 

3/18/19  10:53 pm
Commenter: Mary Mann

They are LICENSED counselors!
 

Do not punish licensed counselors for helping patients overcome their unwanted sexual feelings by affirming biological realities concerning male and female.

CommentID: 70109
 

3/18/19  10:56 pm
Commenter: Mary Mack

Government should not get involved in private counseling
 

Government banning any type of counseling is dangerous overreach into individual freedom.  The government is not and should not be an authority over what advice is right or wrong, helpful or not helpful.  Individuals should have the freedom to choose the counseling that they believe is best for them without government interference.

CommentID: 70110
 

3/18/19  11:05 pm
Commenter: Liane Ridley

Patient client confidentiality
 

You must not  punish licensed counselors for helping patients overcome their unwanted sexual feelings by affirming biological realities concerning male and female.

Counselors should be allowed  to counsel a client who expresses the desire to overcome feelings that are unwanted especially that go against what many believe are wrong based on the Bible. No Christian counselor could go along with the ideas acceptable today. A counselor should not have their license removed as this is against their constitutional rights. I believe there is such extreme genger confusion today because it is being pushed everywhere starting at a young age even in the schools.

CommentID: 70111
 

3/18/19  11:08 pm
Commenter: Elaine Hanger

Counseling
 

 Can you step back and see how fast this freight train is plowing over millenia of recognized norms? Please don’t write law according to what is in vogue. This is a very serious issue and one that needs to be left to licensened  professional counselors.

CommentID: 70112
 

3/18/19  11:15 pm
Commenter: Marilyn McCarty

Punishing licensed counselors
 

Please don't punish licensed counsellors who are asked by patients to help them overcome unwanted sexual feelings. They only want to do what they trained to do....help people. They should not be prevented from doing this.

CommentID: 70113
 

3/18/19  11:32 pm
Commenter: Hadassah H Carter

This message is to the Virginia Board.
 

This message is to the VA Board of Counseling.  Do not punish licensed counselors for helping patients overcome their unwanted sexual feelings by affirming biological realities concerning male and female.  This is un-Constitutional! 

Hadassah Carter 

CommentID: 70114
 

3/18/19  11:36 pm
Commenter: LaVerne Waybright, consumer

Do not stifle licensed professionals’ free speech rights
 
to stifle licensed professionals’ free speech rights
CommentID: 70115
 

3/18/19  11:38 pm
Commenter: FRANK CARTER

Message to the Virginia Board.
 

Attention: VA Board of Counseling DO NO punish licensed counselors for helping patients overcome their unwanted sexual feelings by affirming biological realities concerning male and female.  THAT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!  STOP IN JESUS' NAME!

CommentID: 70116
 

3/18/19  11:52 pm
Commenter: Katherine Sodergren

Speech should not be prohibited or censored by law. Individuals should be feel to hear what is said
 

CommentID: 70117
 

3/19/19  12:08 am
Commenter: Doug Craig

Not enough study has been done to warrant such "suggestions" or censoring of professionals. Where is
 

CommentID: 70118
 

3/19/19  1:36 am
Commenter: Judy Cook

Counseling
 

There needs to be much more medical and scientific study before such extreme measures are taken. 

 

 

 

 

CommentID: 70119
 

3/19/19  3:29 am
Commenter: Dennis Webster

New guidance document on conversion therapy.
 

This New Guidance is nothing short of an end run around the United States Constitution. Such a policy or law would be a gross infringement on the rights of the people to seek the medical help of their choice and it will also be an unbearable infringement of their right to privacy.

CommentID: 70120
 

3/19/19  3:35 am
Commenter: Kristen Hinton

Please don’t prohibit freedom
 

I understand you are trying to protect freedom, but you are restricting the freedom of the counselor to assist the patient in what way the patient desires. They can assist them to change genders but they can’t assist them if they are wanting to stay the same gender and just need help through some growing pains. Please don’t  infringe upon the freedom of the counselor or the patient by making this law. We need freedom, this is what America is all about. 

CommentID: 70121
 

3/19/19  6:08 am
Commenter: Willard Rockwell

Homosexual pedophile conversion therapy
 

As we know all homosexuals are pedophiles, as their behavior is never contained, but always gravitates into deeper perversion and sociopathic actions toward society, it presents a constant threat to law and order and all society and a heightened threat to families and especially children. Families are the main building block of all civilized society and no society exists without them. Therefore the act of sodomy is rape and violence as it damages the body in the anus whose function is to excrete waste not ingest it. We intend to reinstate all sodomy laws on a judicial equivalence with murder as a similar sociopathic act. Conversion therapy is as essential as criminal rehabilitation to prevent future crimes against others. We support it as a good first step protecting our society.

CommentID: 70122
 

3/19/19  6:36 am
Commenter: Sharon Landrum

Do not restrict freedom
 

As Americans, the First Amendment gurantees freedom of religion and freedom of speech in the U. S. Constitution. Conversion therapy denies both. It allows only affirmation of a person's gender confusion, not a correction. DNA proves one's biological sex, and conversion therapy denies science. Please do not punish licensed counselors or deprive patients of the right to direct the counseling they seek or need.

CommentID: 70123
 

3/19/19  6:46 am
Commenter: Robert Arbaugh

Government over reach
 

No government should be involved in any capacity with private counseling of individuals period

CommentID: 70124
 

3/19/19  6:47 am
Commenter: Sybil Lowe

Do not restrict freedom
 

Do not restrict the freedom of faith based counselors to their patients who are seeking help of their choosing!

CommentID: 70125
 

3/19/19  6:57 am
Commenter: Gordon Goetz

Biological Affirmation Counseling
 

Do not to punish licensed counselors for helping patients overcome their unwanted sexual feelings by affirming biological realities concerning male and female. This is tantamount to censorship and will stifle licensed professionals’ free speech rights, with the direct consequence of denying patients their basic right to direct the objectives of the counseling they seek. This action would be wrong, dangerous, and unconstitutional. 

CommentID: 70126
 

3/19/19  6:59 am
Commenter: Eileen Bakke

New Guidance for Counselors
 

Please do not restrict the Constitutional rights of faith-based counselors to serve their clients who are freely seeking help with with sexual attraction or gender identity issues. 

CommentID: 70127
 

3/19/19  7:17 am
Commenter: Dixon D Handwerk

New Guidance Document on Conversion Therapy
 

Counselors are trained professionals and they need to have the freedom to exercise the best help for people that are troubled with gender confusion.  The problem has become much worse since it is now "trendy" and the poor young people are being duped into a destructive lifestyle.  Misery loves company.

CommentID: 70128
 

3/19/19  7:24 am
Commenter: Mark Calabrese

Stop trying to punish counselors and violate their free speech rights!
 

Stop trying to punish counselors and violate their free speech rights through draft administrative regulations that would prohibit counelors from helping someone overcome unwanted same-sex attractions or gender dysphoria! Counselors should be free to help provide their patients the fundamental right to direct the objectives of the counseling they seek. 
 

CommentID: 70129
 

3/19/19  7:28 am
Commenter: Brian from Glen Allen

Proposed Regulations to Punish and Silence Faith-Based Counselors
 

Do Not begin punishing licensed counselors for helping patients overcome their unwanted sexual feelings by affirming biological realities concerning male and female

This regulation stifles licensed professionals’ free speech rights, with the direct consequence of denying patients their basic right to direct the objectives of the counseling they seek.  It also sets up an obvious double-standard.

This regulation is clearly wrong, dangerous, and unconstitutional, but ideologically-driven.

CommentID: 70130
 

3/19/19  7:30 am
Commenter: Cynthia C. Lowe

Punishing Counselors
 

As a health care worker for over 40 years, there is great danger in this bill. Counselors should be able to present the facts to their patients as they seek teatment for overcoming their unwanted sexual feelings. Where is free speech  and isn't this bill unconstitutional?   This would be a death sentence to counselors and their patients.

CommentID: 70131
 

3/19/19  7:36 am
Commenter: Ruth E Edens

Psychology Board Restricting Licensed Counselors
 

The proposed regulations are based on the thought that assisting a minor with overcoming feelings of sexual identity or preference that conflict with clear biological reality "might" cause harm. Not overcoming those dysphoric feelings does cause harm. The CDC has plenty of research that shows the physical and mental harm that is caused by living in other than the biological identity one possesses. Please protect the physical and mental health of these children and do not unlawfully repress the ability of counselors to help them.

CommentID: 70132
 

3/19/19  7:48 am
Commenter: Therese Zepeda

Respect free speech and the right of patients to seek the help they desire.
 

I am writing to urge you to maintain the free-speech rights of counselors and patients , including patients who seek and counselors who provide help and guidance in dealing with unwanted sexual desires, feelings, etc

CommentID: 70133
 

3/19/19  7:48 am
Commenter: Mike Wolfe

Do Not pass guidance documents and regulations to stifle licensed professionals’ free speech rights
 


I urge you to not punish licensed counselors for helping patients overcome their unwanted sexual feelings by affirming biological realities concerning male and female.  Thank you.

CommentID: 70134
 

3/19/19  7:51 am
Commenter: Matthew Parowski

Biology matters as much as perception of biology - especially within faith traditions
 

The effort of this guidance document to prohibit counselors from affirming biological reality over a patient's perception of their body and their desires runs counter to my Christian faith, which affirms that God made humankind male and female.  Nearly all people (very unusual circumstances excepted) have a clearly identifiable biological sex, and affirming that sex while working through desires that may, to varying degrees, run counter to that sex is a faith-based approach to integrating one's passions with one's body.  Prohibiting this approach is oppressive to religious faith.

CommentID: 70135
 

3/19/19  8:00 am
Commenter: Dennis Smith

Please do not punish counselors who help patience overcome unwanted sexual feelings
 

Everyone knows emotions are weird things. You may feel one way about a food or television show one moment, and later completely change your mind about it.  There have been many people that I thought that I was in love with, only to find out that it was the result of other things going on at the time, fatigue, excitement, the pressuring of friends, all these and more can affect our feelings towards other members of the opposite sex and even the same sex. When someone goes to a counselor to discuss theings going on in their lives, they are looking for someeone to help them become the person they want to be. If they want to pursue a relationship or if they don't want to pursue certain relationships.  Perhaps past relationships make them cautious, or perhaps their own beliefs and morality suggest that they would not be wise to seek a relationship with a person who drinks alcohol, or is not good with their finabnces. Is it not their right as the consumer to seek help for the feelings that they do not want?  Regardless of sex, race or other factors. You do not have to agree with them, and the counselor does not have to counsel with them.  Is the goal here to make us all the same and not allow for any disagreement at all?  Is not the goal here for the Muslim, the Homosexual, the Jew, Christians and others to coexist?  Or is it that we all have to agree with popular opinion or be put down?  I ask that counselors be able to counsel those who come to them with the counsel they are asking for.  So that each person can become the person he or she wants to be.

CommentID: 70136
 

3/19/19  8:13 am
Commenter: Kimberly McDaniel

Do not take away free speech for licensed counselors!
 

DO NOT PUNISH take away free speech of licensed counselors for helping patients overcome their unwanted sexual feelings by affirming biological realities concerning male and female.

CommentID: 70137
 

3/19/19  8:16 am
Commenter: Steve Aiello

Do not restrict a patient's request for unwanted same sex attraction
 

It is an infringement of a person's civil rights to make counseling for unwanted same sex attraction unlawful.  It is not the government 's responsibility to decide on questions like this.  These are mental health issues and should be explored by the individual involved and his or her family.  

CommentID: 70138