The American Counseling Association circulated the following quotes:
Lisa Henderson, Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Member for the Tennessee Counselors Association added, “The core tenet of counseling is seeking to understand someone else's experience, collaborating with that person and working toward health and balance. This bill's existence goes against those principles. The proposed changes to the code of ethics were not brought to ACA when the code was open for comment, they were not brought to the Tennessee licensing board nor were they brought to the Tennessee Counseling Association or any other state counseling organization. The proposed changes went straight to the legislature and into bill format."
Dianne Bradley, PhD, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Counselor Educator said, “House Bill 1840, now known as 'Hate Bill 1840' is an attempted solution to a problem that does not exist. Counselors and therapists have always had and continue to have the mechanisms in place to refer clients and potential clients in an ethical, prudent, and responsible manner."
Peter Wilson, Ed.D. Director of the Graduate Counseling Program at Trevecca Nazarene University, “As a counselor educator, I am concerned that HB 1840 attacks the ACA Code of Ethics, a document that is critical to the training of future counselors. There are 23 academic institutions in Tennessee that train students to become professional counselors. These students are taught how to appropriately refer clients without imposing their own values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. This legislation is unnecessary and is an infringement of the government on a profession that is capable of governing itself."
More than 50 Tennessee clergy members also decried the bill.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said the bill was headed to the governor’s desk. It still has one more hurdle in the Senate.
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