California psychologist William P. Hatherly surrenders his license to state board

February 5, 2009

William P. Hatherly, Ph.D. surrendered his license to the California Board of Psychology, constituting a disciplinary action against him.  According to the Board’s documents, Hatherly engaged in unprofessional conduct by having “multiple exploitative and harmful roles” with a patient, “functioning as…teacher/therapist, and…expanding their relationship into the personal realm when he purchased her a suede jacket as a Christmas present.”  He “failed to take reasonable steps to resolve the patient’s confusion by his actions and did an inadequate job of clarifying their respective roles.”  Though Hatherly was aware that the patient had transference issues toward the end of the relationship, he failed to respond appropriately to the patient’s infatuation, which served to worsen her condition.  Additionally, he failed to specifically and sufficiently explain the difference between his “Conscious Alternatives” (CA) philosophy and engaging in psychotherapy and failed to accurately describe the nature of his workshops and other CA programs and to adequately differentiate between CA and engaging in psychology.  Hence, the patient felt she was being treated by a psychologist but Hatherly (whose license was at that time inactive and in “delinquent” status) insisted his approach did not constitute the practice of psychology.  Lastly, should he seek reinstatement of his license, he will be required to reimburse the Board its costs of investigation and enforcement ($21,091.82).


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