State suspends clinical social worker Jason Butler for sex with client

December 1, 2011

On March 14, 2011, the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice issued an emergency order immediately suspending the license of independent clinical social worker Jason Butler, having found him to have “used his position to take advantage of a client for his personal purposes and gain.” 

According to the Board’s Order, Butler counseled client D.L. and her husband, R.L., starting in March 2010 and that by July 2010, Butler began having contact with D.L. outside of the counseling relationship. The Order states that Butler began engaging in sex with D.L. on August 8, 2010 and that evidence established that numerous other sexual encounters occurred between the two at Butler’s home and office and at vacation spots, continuing into November 2010. Further, it states that the two smoked marijuana together on more than one occasion and that Butler enlisted D.L.’s help in responding to a prior Board Settlement Agreement and possibly in falsifying her treatment records.

In September 2009, the Board reprimanded Butler for conduct which the Board could have proved to be professional misconduct, had it been taken to a hearing. According to the Board’s 2009 Settlement Agreement, Butler, who was at that time employed at an eating disorders center, where he treated a 17-year-old girl from August 2006 through June 2007. When she was hospitalized in December of 2006, Butler maintained phone contact with her. He also learned that she might have crush on him. He continued to be her therapist following her discharge. Butler never discussed the patients’ feelings for him with his supervisor. Butler engaged in excessive phone contact with the girl, often after 9:00 pm. Though he maintained that the calls were therapeutic in nature, he did not document any of them in the girl’s file. Neither did he discuss the communications or their frequency with his supervisor. During some calls or portions of calls, he used readings of a religious nature, even after the girl’s mother requested that he not. Butler failed to obtain the written informed consent of the patient or her mother.

Source: Settlement Agreement (2011) and Further Interim Suspension Order and Notice of Final Hearing (2009) in the Matter of Jason Butler, LICSW, License No. 1241, State of New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice.


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