Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
4/17/19  10:00 am
Commenter: Laura Justin

Against Proposed Ban

I am against the proposed regulatory guidance concerning conversion therapy (CT).  There have been unsavory practices undertaken in the past as part of CT (e.g., electroshock “therapy”) that I would welcome being banned.  However, the proposed guidance document’s definition of CT includes “any practice or treatment...”, i.e., counseling or “talk therapy”.  Further, the proposed CT definition specifically excludes “counseling that provides assistance to a person undergoing gender transition”.  So it’s acceptable for a counselor to help a minor change his/her “gender identity” (a process which may also include hormone treatments & surgery), but a counselor who helps a minor moderate unwanted same-sex attraction would be subject to disciplinary action?  Virginia parents should have the freedom to seek help for their children from licensed professionals who are not precluded from addressing the issue of unwanted sexual attraction.  The guidance infringes on a therapist’s professional judgment, client rights and parental prerogative in an important area of child/adolescent development. 

As an aside: it would be helpful if the guidance document at issue was linked to the comment forum.  It took some effort to find the document, as entering the guidance document number in the search bar yielded no results.


CommentID: 71578