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actionland

Therapitic malpractice

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I was seeing a therapist (LCSW) for issues related to my divorce, and a few childhood issues. We grew very close and had a great professional relationship. Almost a year in my therapist recommended a yoga studio she goes to and encouraged me to go. We talked about boundaries as I didn't want to cross hers and she was ok with me going. I did end up going and was sexually assaulted by one of the yoga instructors. I did my best to tell her, but she told me I was over reacting and I hid what happened to me. I did continue to see her.

 

I did eventually reported my attack to the police, and to my therapist. But it had past the statue of limitations so nothing could be done to the person who attacked me.

 

Since I had continued to see my therapist and she had a complete history on me, knew my whole story, I didn't want to have to start over with a all new therapist. I believed at the time, and still do that she made a bad mistake, she didn't do it purposely. We made an agreement that she couldn't continue to be in classes with this yoga instructor, or take classes from him. We live in a smaller community and the instructor teaches at 5 different studios in the area.

 

Since she agreed to not associate with the yoga instructor, we continued our therapeutic relationship. After we continued, I found out she continued to attend the same classes he did, take classes from him, and I found out they are friends on Facebook. I called her out on this and she claimed it wasn't a conflict of interest. I've since lost trust in her and left her services. It's been very difficult for me to trust any new therapist, and I've since had to quick my job due to stress related to both the attack and being lied to by my therapist. After I started working with a psychologist, my psychologist thinks she violated quite a few other ethical guidelines also

 

Do I have a case here? I'm looking to report her, but it's difficult to find a lawyer who handles therapeutic malpractice.

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14 hours ago, actionland said:

I did eventually reported my attack to the police, and to my therapist. But it had past the statue of limitations so nothing could be done to the person who attacked me.

 

If the criminal statute of limitations has already expired, then the incident in question must have occurred more than three years ago.  Correct?

 

 

14 hours ago, actionland said:

I believed at the time, and still do that she made a bad mistake, she didn't do it purposely. We made an agreement that she couldn't continue to be in classes with this yoga instructor, or take classes from him.

 

It sounds like there were two parts to this "agreement":  (1) "that she couldn't continue to be in classes with" the instructor; and (2) that she couldn't "take classes from him."  The first part of this seems to imply that you continued to take classes from the instructor you claim assaulted you.  Or was this just an agreement about what the therapist could or couldn't do in her free time -- independent of her treatment of you?

 

 

14 hours ago, actionland said:

Do I have a case here?

 

A case of what?

 

If I'm reading the facts correctly, at some time more than three years ago, you were undergoing therapy for some unstated purpose, and your therapist recommended you take yoga classes at a particular studio.  The therapist also apparently recommended that she attend the classes with you.  At some point after you started taking classes (but still at least three years ago), the yoga teacher sexually assaulted you.  You told your therapist about the assault and, although she minimized your claim, you continued to see her.  At some point thereafter, you and the therapist "made an agreement that she couldn't continue to be in classes with this yoga instructor, or take classes from him."  Then, at some point after that, you discovered that the therapist was taking classes with the instructor and that they were "friends" on Facebook.  Is that about it?

 

If that's all accurate, you have no basis whatsoever for any lawsuit.  The "agreement" you described was not an enforceable contract, and you suffered no legally cognizable damages as a result of the therapist's "breach."

 

 

14 hours ago, actionland said:

I'm looking to report her, but it's difficult to find a lawyer who handles therapeutic malpractice.

 

I'm not sure to whom you want to report her, but you don't need an attorney to do so.

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3 hours ago, pg1067 said:

 

If the criminal statute of limitations has already expired, then the incident in question must have occurred more than three years ago.  Correct?

For the assault yes. Nothing I can do about that as much as I wish I could. However I last saw the therapist in January of this year.

Quote

 

 

 

It sounds like there were two parts to this "agreement":  (1) "that she couldn't continue to be in classes with" the instructor; and (2) that she couldn't "take classes from him."  The first part of this seems to imply that you continued to take classes from the instructor you claim assaulted you.  Or was this just an agreement about what the therapist could or couldn't do in her free time -- independent of her treatment of you?

 

I did not continue to take classes from him. I stopped immediately. I attempted to report it to her, but she didn't believe me. After I reported my assault to both the police and then to her again, she continued to see him after telling me she would not. I felt it was a major conflict of interest and caused me great deal of harm as I couldn't trust the person who was supposed to treat me if she was still seeing him either in class as a fellow student or as a direct student of the instructor.

 

Basically "How can you treat me for sexual assault when you are paying my sexual assailant and seeing him as a yoga instructor at the same time?" Also she completely failed to address my concerns with him, even after several warnings.

Quote

 

A case of what?

 

If I'm reading the facts correctly, at some time more than three years ago, you were undergoing therapy for some unstated purpose, and your therapist recommended you take yoga classes at a particular studio.  The therapist also apparently recommended that she attend the classes with you.  At some point after you started taking classes (but still at least three years ago), the yoga teacher sexually assaulted you.  You told your therapist about the assault and, although she minimized your claim, you continued to see her.  At some point thereafter, you and the therapist "made an agreement that she couldn't continue to be in classes with this yoga instructor, or take classes from him."  Then, at some point after that, you discovered that the therapist was taking classes with the instructor and that they were "friends" on Facebook.  Is that about it?

 

If that's all accurate, you have no basis whatsoever for any lawsuit.  The "agreement" you described was not an enforceable contract, and you suffered no legally cognizable damages as a result of the therapist's "breach."

 

I'm not sure to whom you want to report her, but you don't need an attorney to do so.

In terms of a case of malpractice, she offered treatment by saying that should would not engage with my sexual assailant, however lied about it on several occasions. It caused a great deal of trust issues with any mental health worker, along with PTSD, depression, agoraphobia a several suicide attempts, I even had to quit working as an engineer because I couldn't handle it. I'm getting new treatment, but it's a uphill battle. Every therapist I have seen at this point tells me to report her. I have the ability to report her to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, and I have been told that using a Lawyer to file the complaint is recommended, but I am having a tough time finding a lawyer that deals with malpractice in therapy.

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To prove that your therapist was guilty of malpractice you would have to prove that the fact that she continued to take lessons from an individual you accused of battery somehow affected your treatment.  Clearly, your discovery of the continuing interactions between your therapist and the yoga teacher has ruined your relationship with the therapist, but how would you prove your treatments would have been different if the therapist did not continue to take lessons from the yoga instructor?  To put it another way, if you never discovered the relationship between the therapist and yoga teacher would you feel your treatment did not meet the standard of care due you from therapist.

 

Your complaint amounts to a reaction to what you perceive is a breach of trust.  You obviously had developed a deep emotional attachment to your therapist.  Discovering that she had violated that trust has, of course, caused you great trauma.  But violating that trust does not prove that you were not receiving competent counselling services up to the point you discovered the breach of trust.

 

So, it does not sound as if you have a viable malpractice case.  It is also questionable as to whether a licensing board would find the continuing relationship between the therapist and the yoga teacher an ethical violation.  Patients generally do not have the right to regulate the behavior of their health care providers outside the professional reĺationship.  I would point out also that you have alleged an improper battery by the yoga teacher but the allegation has never been factually proven.

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Why should you get to decide where this therapist takes yoga classes or from whom? How is it a conflict of interest? More than 3 years ago you had a bad experience with someone so now your therapist can't ever see that person, even though the therapist has no control over what classes that person chooses to take or which classes that person teaches? You are not being even remotely reasonable here. If you didn't care for this therapist any longer or felt they were not taking your concerns seriously, you were free to find another. It was always your right to report an assault to the police, though it is not at all clear why you didn't do this and are only looking into it more than 3 years later. You admit hiding from her that you were assaulted so I'm really confused how this therapist was supposed to know what happened if you didn't report it to anyone, including her. There is no expectation that therapists avoid the triggers experienced by all of their patients. Surely you can understand why that is not a practical expectation. At all times you, as the client, have the right to change therapists and or cease therapy if you are unhappy with the process.

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2 hours ago, actionland said:

After I reported my assault to both the police and then to her again, she continued to see him after telling me she would not. I felt it was a major conflict of interest

 

It's a yoga class.

 

 

2 hours ago, actionland said:

nd caused me great deal of harm as I couldn't trust the person who was supposed to treat me if she was still seeing him either in class as a fellow student or as a direct student of the instructor.

 

That's not legally-cognizable "harm."  If, as a result of this, you felt you could not trust the therapist, you were free to see her no longer (which is what you apparently did).

 

 

2 hours ago, actionland said:

In terms of a case of malpractice, she offered treatment by saying that should would not engage with my sexual assailant, however lied about it on several occasions. It caused a great deal of trust issues with any mental health worker, along with PTSD, depression, agoraphobia a several suicide attempts, I even had to quit working as an engineer because I couldn't handle it.

 

All because your therapist took yoga classes from someone you accused of sexual assault?  That's beyond extreme overreaction.

 

 

2 hours ago, actionland said:

Every therapist I have seen at this point tells me to report her. I have the ability to report her to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation

 

So do it.

 

 

2 hours ago, actionland said:

I have been told that using a Lawyer to file the complaint is recommended

 

I can't imagine why.  Who told you this?

 

 

2 hours ago, actionland said:

I am having a tough time finding a lawyer that deals with malpractice in therapy.

 

You're not going to find someone who specializes in this because it's too small of a niche, and the reason you're having trouble finding an attorney is because you have no viable legal claim.  If you're willing to pay a large retainer, however, I'm sure you can find someone to take a flyer on this.

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