Maine marriage & family therapist Shawn Zeimetz's license suspended for six months

December 15, 2011

On October 24, 2011, the Maine State Board of Counseling Professionals placed marriage & family therapist Shawn Zeimetz on suspension for six months for gross negligence, incompetence and misconduct in his counseling of a troubled 13-year-old girl and her foster parents.

According to the Board’s document, Zeimetz was employed by the Sweetser Family Focus Program, where he provided counseling to the girl from September through November 2009. Zeimetz admitted that he did not know what direction to take in his counseling of the girl, who had a history of neglect and trauma, including physical and sexual abuse beginning at age 4. Her current family was her third foster placement. Her acting out including cutting herself and harming the family’s pets.

Zeimetz recommended to the family that the girl’s mental health situation could be treated through prayer and fasting and indicated in his response to the complaint that never once during the discussion with the family of these topics did the family indicate they were upset. However, this statement is at odds with other reports, including a report by one of the parents to the girl’s caseworker, who reported that the parent sounded “horrified and scared.”

Zeimetz was fired from Sweetser in November 2009 for his refusal to guarantee that he would not bring his religious beliefs into his counseling.

Source: Decision and Order in re: Shawn Zeimetz, Licensure Disciplinary Action (200-COU-5986), Maine State Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure.

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