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Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Psychologist Anne Marie Wells disciplined by board for sexual affair with patient

In psychologist on July 26, 2010 at 4:30 pm

On May 17, 2010, the Indiana State Psychology Board placed Anne Marie Wells, Ph.D on probation for no less than three years.

According to the Board’s Final Order, Wells provided counseling services to a married female patient during the fall of 1999.

Wells admitted to a romantic and sexual relationship with the patient, beginning approximately one month after the termination of the clinical relationship.  The patient separated from her husband during this time.

During the sessions, the patient told Wells she’d developed “romantic feelings” for her. Wells conferred with her supervisor and they determined that the patient might be experiencing transference. Wells however continued to treat the patient for approximately a year.

Wells began to develop “romantic feelings” for the patient during the time she treated her and eventually terminated the clinical relationship but remained in contact with the patient via telephone.

Wells admitted to a romantic and sexual relationship with the patient, beginning approximately one month after the termination of the clinical relationship.  The patient separated from her husband during this time.  The relationship between Wells and the patient continued for three years.  Terms of her probation include practice monitoring.

Source: Final Order in the Matter of the License of Anne Marie Wells, Ph.D, License Number 20041315A, Before the State Psychology Board, Cause Number 2010 ISPB 001.

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State places psychologist George W. Berry on probation for sexual e-mails to patient

In psychologist on July 26, 2010 at 4:25 pm

On September 25, 2009, the Indiana State Psychology Board placed George W. Berry, Ph.D on probation for four years for violations of state code governing the practice and behavior of psychologists.

The Board cited particularly that Berry “continued to practice although he had become unfit to practice due to a failure to keep abreast of current theory and practice.”

According to the Board’s document, Berry violated professional boundaries with the patient in e-mails he sent to her.

Berry treated the patient during ten sessions between March 5, 2008 and August 13, 2008.  On August 14, she sent an e-mail asking for advice on how to handle her recent break-up with her boyfriend and the subsequent feelings of sadness and remorse.

“…I would love to take care of all your physical, emotional and personal needs.  I’m relatively stable psychologically, financially comfortable, intellectually adequate and sexually adept.”

Berry’s reply, which was noted by the Board to be lengthy, contained the statement, “As far as no one ever wanting you, you can rest assured there.  You are an attractive and interesting person with much offer.  I remember thinking that…before I even knew you very well.  If I were a few years younger I might have hit on you myself.”

Following the patient’s reply, Berry sent another lengthy message which stated, among other things, “First thing I want to get on board is that I would love to take care of all your physical, emotional and personal needs.  I’m relatively stable psychologically, financially comfortable, intellectually adequate and sexually adept.”  He states that it is probably delusional on his part but that “I’d be willing to take the risk.”  The message included a drawing from a tantric text depicting a man and woman engaged in sex.

Source: Findings of Fact, Ultimate Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order In the Matter of the License of George W. Berry, Ph.D, License No. 20040577A, Before the State Psychology Board, Cause No. 2009- ISPB 0001.

San Fran psychologist Steven A. Korn charged with sexual exploitation of patient

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on July 22, 2010 at 9:12 am

Criminal charges have been filed against a San Francisco based psychologist who allegedly had sex with one of his patients, according to a press release from the DA’s office. The defendant, Dr. Steven Allen Korn, was arrested today.

Korn, 61 at the time of the alleged crime, is said to have had sex with the twenty something female patient in his office, on two occasions, during her therapy sessions.

“Based upon the allegations, the defendant betrayed a vulnerable patient who trusted him,” said District Attorney Kamala D. Harris.

The allegations come from court documents filed in 2008. The prosecution is the result
of an investigation by the Medical Board of California Investigator Tracy Tu, and San Francisco District Attorney Lieutenant of Investigations Carlos B. Sanchez. Assistant District Attorney Evan Ackiron is prosecuting the case.

Dr. Korn is charged with two counts of Sexual Exploitation by a Psychotherapist, both misdemeanors. The maximum penalty for each count is six months in county.

Anyone with information regarding professional misconduct by Dr. Korn should contact Lt. Sanchez at (415) 551-9569.

Source: Samantha Bell, “SF Shrink Accused of Sexual Exploitation of a Patient, SFPD Wants To Know If He Exploited You, Too,” San Francisco Appeal (online newspaper), July 21, 2010.

Psychologist Burt G. Hollenbeck facing trial on 30 counts sexual assault on patient

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on July 19, 2010 at 7:06 pm

On April 28, 2010, a Cheshire County grand jury indicted New Hampshire psychologist Burton G. Hollenbeck on 30 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, alleging that he engaged in sex with a patient.

Hollenbeck was indicted as well in March on eight counts of felonious sexual assault, two counts of violating a protective order and one count of witness tampering.

It is not clear if the April charges are additional to the March ones or replacing them.

The March indictments allege that Hollenbeck had sex eight times with the patient between March and October 2008.  The current indictments specify that it was between February and December 2008.

The alleged victim and her husband began seeing Hollenbeck for marriage counseling in mid-2006.  Upon learning that the wife had been abused when she was younger, Hollenbeck asked her to go into one-on-one therapy with him.

Hollenbeck’s office manager “blew the whistle” on the alleged affair.

Both the wife and husband have filed separate lawsuits against Hollenbeck for mental anguish, emotional distress, lost wages, legal fees and other damages suffered due to his “wanton, malicious and oppressive” actions.

In late January  2010, Hollenbeck agreed to quit practicing psychology in New Hampshire while under investigation by the state Board of Psychology.

Source: “Keene psychologist faces additional charges,” The Keene Sentinel, “April 28, 2010.

Psychotherapist Alan Shulik, arrested late ’09 for sexual assault, is now sued by client

In sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on July 1, 2010 at 9:55 am

A New Haven therapist charged with second-degree sexual assault for allegedly having a relationship with a suicidal and depressed client is being sued by the client and her husband.

The couple, named as John and Jane Doe in the lawsuit to protect their privacy, list 13 counts against Guilford resident Alan Shulik, 58, in a complaint filed recently in Superior Court in New Haven.

The state Department of Public Health is investigating Shulik, and an attorney for the couple says the state shouldn’t allow him to continue practicing.

The husband and wife have each filed counts of reckless infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The wife also filed counts of reckless battery and negligent battery, while the husband filed a count of loss of spousal consortium.

“She and her husband come for help to keep their marriage together because they had a very ill child, which was putting a lot of stress on the marriage, and he (Shulik) does everything possible to separate them and take advantage of her,” said New Haven lawyer Steven Errante, who represents the couple along with New Haven lawyer Marisa Bellair. “It’s the most egregious thing a psychologist can do to a patient.”

While they hope to possibly prevent Shulik from continuing as a therapist, Jane Doe and her husband also want compensation for medical bills and lost income, since the incident has affected the woman’s career, Errante said.

Shulik allegedly had a sexual relationship with Jane Doe for more than a year beginning in 2008 after she came with her husband for marriage counseling to his practice, Bishop Street Counseling.

He advised the pair that separate sessions would be more effective, and began an on-again, off-again relationship with Jane Doe, often making degrading remarks about her husband, according to Shulik’s arrest warrant.

The two had intercourse at Shulik’s home and office and at hotels. The woman tried to commit suicide in February 2009 by swallowing pills after Shulik broke up with her, but the relationship resumed a few months later until Shulik claimed he got married.

Jane Doe reported Shulik to police in August. He was arrested in October on a charge of second-degree assault, which involves a psychotherapist and a patient engaging in sexual intercourse either during a psychotherapy session, when a patient or former patient is emotionally dependent on the psychotherapist, or when there is therapeutic deception.

Shulik pleaded not guilty in March and is due again in court July 9. Stamford lawyer Alexander Hernandez represents Shulik in his criminal case.

A call asking if Hernandez will represent Shulik in the civil case was not returned, and Shulik could not be reached for comment Monday.

Shulik continues to practice, according to an attendant at his office’s answering center, and the state Department of Public Health is investigating him, according to spokeswoman Diana Lejardi. Lejardi declined to specify how long the investigation has gone on or what prompted it.

Source: Susan Misur, “Accused Guilford therapist now faces suit over sex with client,” New Haven Register, July 1, 2010.