Psychologist Peter Clark-Saunders suspended for three years
December 10, 2010
On December 10, 2010, the Psychologists Tribunal of New South Wales suspended the license of psychologist Peter Clark-Saunders (aka Peter Clark, Peter Clark Saunders, Peter McCann) for a minimum of three years for professional misconduct.
The prosecution was the result of several complaints made to the Victims Services of the Attorney General’s Department by victims of crime who were being counseled by Clark-Saunders. Specifically, the Tribunal’s document contains the complaints of four patients.
Three of the four testified that Clark-Saunders made casual and suggestive conversation with them about his sex life and:
Client A: “He would tell me about how he would have sex with men who he met out. He had an active sex life and only spoke about sex with men.”
Client B: “…he suggested me that myself, Mark and Mark’s bisexual girlfriend have a threesome and they would be willing to pay me.”
Client C: “Peter was always talking about sex and his boyfriends during counseling sessions. He would often talk about young boys as well (young adults, not children) and his sex life.”
The Tribunal’s document also contains testimony from the patients as to Clark-Saunders’ drug use in their presence; his socializing/boundary violations with them (social visits, text messaging, etc.) and his charging Victims Services for counseling session when no counseling actually occurred (because he spent the session talking about himself and his problems) and his having friends or other non-therapeutic personnel attending counseling sessions, among other things.
One patient also testified that when she would get upset and confront him about his conduct and lack of involvement in her therapy, “…he would threaten to report me to the mental health authorities…specifically…the Victims Compensation Tribunal. I have text messages on my mobile phone from Peter showing this.”
The Tribunal accepted the patients’ testimony and found Clark-Saunders guilty of professional misconduct relative to eight separate complaints against him.
Clark-Saunders is thereby prohibited from providing any psychotherapy, counseling, welfare or related health services to the public during his suspension.
Source: HCCC v Clark-Saunders, Psychologists Tribunal of New South Wales, Matter Number PST 005/2009 PS0041476.
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