Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
4/10/19  10:19 pm
Commenter: Meghan Costello, Clinical Psychology PhD Student, University of Virginia

Conversion Therapy is Harmful, Ineffective, Unethical, and Irresponsible

Conversion therapy is both ineffective and unethical. Continuing to permit this harmful practice would make a very strong statement that disavows the valued LGBTQ+ members of our society.

No peer-reviewed scientific work suggests that conversion therapy is effective. Furthermore, no ethical research institution would ever engage in rigorous research involving this therapy because the potential for harm to participants that are exposed to conversion therapy is too great.

Ethically, there should be no question about the practice of conversion therapy. The shame and trauma that are associated with conversion therapy have led to mental health problems such as depression, suicide, and substance abuse. Furthermore, the use of conversion therapy with adolescents is abusive. Before they turn 18, these individuals are extremely vulnerable and do not have the ability to adequately advocate for themselves in making the choice to pursue conversion therapy. Continuing to allow individuals in power to shame teens and children for something that they have no control over is unethical and irresponsible.

Conversion therapy should be banned, to preserve the health and safety of our community members.

CommentID: 71179