Psychologist treated patient 13 years, says she never made overt suicide mention; records show otherwise
January 6, 2011
On June 28, 2010, the California Board of Psychology placed the license of Kenneth E. Roberson, Ph.D. on five years probation with terms and conditions.
According to the Board’s Accusation, Roberson committed the following acts or omissions in the treatment of a patient who ultimately committed suicide:
(a) Stated to the Board that the patient never directly or indirectly stated that she wanted to kill herself. The Board found numerous mentions of such in Roberson’s treatment notes and so find that he either displayed lack of adequate knowledge or familiarity with the patient’s case or that he misrepresented the patient’s history/condition to the Board;
(b) Represented that during the 13 years he treated her, there was nothing that he judged in the patient’s case to be overt plans, thoughts or desires to kill herself. Again, the Board found this to be either Roberson’s lack of familiarity with the case or his own misrepresentation to the Board and
(c) Roberson’s failure to adequately and/or properly assess and/or monitor the potential for and/or determine the severity of the patient’s suicide risk. Additionally, the Board found, among other things, that Roberson repeated failed to recognize and/or overlooked and/or misinterpreted and/or lacked adequate knowledge regarding numerous aspects of the patient’s history and conditions related to risks for self-harm or suicide.
Terms of probation include having his practice monitored by a Board-approved monitor and reimbursement to the Board of its costs of $7,000 for investigation and enforcement.
Source: Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order and Accusation in the Matter of the Accusation Against Kenneth E. Roberson, Ph.D., Psychologist’s License No. PSY 11958, Case No. 1F-2007-182250, Board of Psychology Department of Consumer Affairs State of California.
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