Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
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3/20/19  9:12 am
Commenter: Stephanie Malady

Ban the erroneously named abuse known as Conversion Therapy

Leading mental health organizations (American Pediatrics Assn, American Psychiatric Assn, etc.) are opposed to the damaging effects of conversion therapy.  There is no evidence that it is helpful and plenty of evidence that it is psychologically harmful to participants.  The practice, simply put, is sanctioned abuse by this state and must be outlawed in order to protect the mental and emotional well being of both children and adults.  It can be reasonably argued that members of the LGBTQ community experience suicide and assault at greater rates than the general population, in part, due to the continued authorization of such bigoted abuses as Conversion therapy. 
The archaic idea that mental health providers can or should change someone’s gender expression/identity or their affectional orientation is based on a history of stigmatization and subjective, restrictive sexual identities. The board of counseling has an ethical responsibility to ban these actions that increase the risk of suicide of our children from trauma via conversion therapy. Ban this psychological and emotional torture immediately for the health and well being of our entire society.

CommentID: 70418