HB301 / SB690 - Prohibited Counseling Service
These bills prohibit counseling services to individuals younger than 18 years old, providing treatment involving reprimand, punishment, shame, or any other aversive technique intended to change an individual's gender identity or gender expression or reduce or eliminate an individual's sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward a person of the same gender.
A professional counselor who violates this section engages in unprofessional conduct and is subject to disciplinary action by the department or the appropriate board. Professional Counselors include those licensed under chapters 458,459,490 and 491. It is also unlawful for any person to advertise or offer to provide counseling services to an individual younger than 18 for these same services. These services are also known as Conversion Therapy.
The National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and other prominent national health and mental health associations conducted reviews of the research on conversion therapies. The conclusion is conversion therapy is not only ineffective, but it is very detrimental to the psychological and social wellbeing of clients subjected to this intervention. The rationales for prohibiting conversion therapy are:
- LGBTQ+ is not a mental health disorder that needs treated, repaired, converted, or erased. It is a healthy expression of human sexuality.
- Conversion therapy reinforces negative self-images and may lead to damaging consequences for the client, including psychological distress, depression, substance abuse, homelessness, self-harmful behavior, social isolation, and suicide.
- Social work, health, and mental health professionals have an ethical duty to promote health and wellbeing, and to avoid interventions known to cause harm.
- Rather than providing detrimental interventions, social work, health, and mental health professionals should be providing sexuality-affirmative interventions and support.
Any discriminatory or prejudiced practice directed against any group is damaging to the social, emotional, and economic well-being of the affected group and of society as a whole.
Vote YES on HB 301 / SB 690 and ban conversion therapy of minors in Florida.