We here at VA-ALGBTIC are thrilled to support Virginia counselors and continue the missions of the Virginia Counselors Association (VCA), the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC), and the American Counseling Association. If you would like to learn more about our mission and what we stand for, please visit our About page in the menu at the top.
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COUNSELORS DON’T DISCRIMINATE :
In response to Tennessee Governor Haslam's recent enactment of the SB1556/HB1840 law:
From the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (2014):
“A.4.b. Personal Values Counselors are aware of—and avoid imposing—their own values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Counselors respect the diversity of clients, trainees, and research participants and seek training in areas in which they are at risk of imposing their values onto clients, especially when the counselor’s values are inconsistent with the client’s goals or are discriminatory in nature.” (ACA, 2014, pp. 5)
In solidarity with all gender and sexuality diverse people, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, GenderQueer, Intersex, Questioning, and Non-Binary people and Allies of these historically and currently marginalized groups, we (the officers and members of the Virginia Association for LGBT Issues in Counseling) affirm that:
- Acceptance, affirmation, and inclusion of gender and sexual orientation diversity is the standard of care as defined by ethics, cultural competence, scholarship, and the aspirational values of the counseling professions;
- Counseling and psychotherapy center around the needs of the client, informed by best practice standards;
- No counselor has the right to refuse service based solely on their personal values and beliefs as stated by the ACA (2014) Code of Ethics and other counseling professions’ standards of practice;
- Supporting the resiliency, inherent worth, and strengths of all LGBTQIQ and allied groups through provision of direct counseling as well as social advocacy is the best response to prejudice, institutionalized discrimination, and other forms of oppression;
And, in summation of these principles, counselors do not exclude clients based on "personally held beliefs." VA-ALGBTIC stands with our fellow counselors in Tennessee who are impacted by Governor Haslam's signing of SB1556/HB1840 into law. We unite with members of the counseling profession and fully support the ACA's ethical mandate to serve ALL clients.
Members, please take a look at the photos in our Gallery page on the co-sponsored professional development event held on March 4, 2016 at Lynchburg College on “Supporting Gender Diverse Youth.”