There could be few more bitter experiences than the desperate victim who accepts help and is then betrayed by the “benefactor.”
Imagine a 7-year-old girl who has been referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist for help with emotional problems related to incest. Suppose that the specialist then also sexually abuses the girl during “therapy.” What must be the emotional upheaval suffered by this tragic victim?
Such despicable treachery in the wake of an already serious personal crisis could only burden the victim with further emotional scars and instability.
It is also a damning criticism of those “professionals” entrusted with the task of helping people who are extremely fragile emotionally.
On October 31, 2002, French psychotherapist Jean-Pierre Tremel was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping and sexually abusing two young patients that the court recognized as being extremely vulnerable. Tremel, age 52, claimed his “treatment” was based on an “Oriental tradition” wherein “old men introduce girls to sexual practices.”
Such “treatment” is never help. It is a disgusting betrayal in the guise of help, an all-too-frequent occurrence in the mental health industry:
- A woman is statistically at greater risk of being raped while on a psychiatrist’s couch than while jogging alone at night through a city park.
- In a British study of therapist-patient sexual contact among psychologists, 25 percent reported having treated a patient who had been sexually involved with another therapist.
- A 2001 study reported that one out of twenty clients who had been sexually abused by their therapist was a minor, the average age being 7 for girls and 12 for boys. The youngest child was three.
While compassion, common sense and decency declare that sexual abuse of patients is a serious and criminal act, psychiatrists and psychologists work hard to sanitize it—even when the victims of the exploitation are children. Combining the invented diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) with subtle but perverse arguments, or even outright lies, they labor to decriminalize the sexual abuse of women and child patients.
Meanwhile, mental health licensing bodies rarely mete out more than the wrist-slap—temporary license revocation—a charge of “professional misconduct” and temporarily suspend a practitioner’s license to practice.
- In 2003, the Colorado State Board of Psychologist Examiners revoked the license of Dr. John Dicke, whose treatment of a 5-year-old boy included using sex toys. According to the boy’s father, his son had been “stripped naked, tortured, restrained, verbally abused, sexually abused, brainwashed and horrified by a dildo” during the alleged therapy.
- In 1989, Dr. Paul A. Walters, psychiatrist in charge of student health at Stanford University, California, and former head of Harvard University’s Health Services’ Mental Health Division, was forced to resign after allegations of his having “frequent sex” with a female patient. The woman, who had been the victim of sexual abuse as a child, was awarded more than $200,000 in an out-of-court settlement. She said Walters had used her to perform oral sex on him, “sometimes as often as two out of three psychiatric analysis sessions per week.”
Some psychiatrists, however, are criminally charged and convicted.
- An Orange County, California, psychiatrist, James Harrington White, was convicted of the forced sodomy of a male patient. After an investigation by Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), White was found to have drugged young men, then videotaped himself having sex with them. White was sentenced to prison for almost seven years.
No medical doctor, social organization or family member should hand over any person to face the mental health “treatments” that pass as therapy today.
This is one of a series of reports produced by CCHR that deal with mental health betrayal. It is issued as a public service and warning.
Therapist sexual abuse is sexual abuse. Therapist rape is rape. They will never constitute therapy. Until this is widely recognized however, and prosecutors and judges treat every incidence of this as such, psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists will remain a threat to any woman or child undergoing mental health therapy.
on Human Rights International