"Shut Up, Im the Therapist"--Board Disciplines Psychologist Douglas A. Col

December 3, 2018

On November 8, 2018, the Oregon Board of Psychology imposed a $2,000 civil penalty on psychologist Douglas A. Col. for committing unprofessional conduct and violating professional ethical standards. 

The Board's order specifically states that in September 2016, a 50-year-old male with prior psychiatric diagnoses and a history of treatment presented to Col seeking therapy. 

During that first meeting, Col was critical of the medications that the patient was taking. The patient was then under treatment by a psychiatrist who was prescribing the antipsychotic Abilify, the antidepressants Lexapro and Trazodone, the anti-anxiety drug Clonazepam, and the mood stabilizer Lamictal.

Col exceeded the boundaries of his competence as a psychologist by encouraging the patient to "take his Abilify on a regular basis, to help control his OCD and his depression" and also encouraged him to contact his psychiatrist because he'd had a bad reaction to Lamictal, "and he does need something to help control his bipolar disorder." 

Further, during later sessions, Col provided specific recommendations to the patient regarding his medications in regard to dosage and the need for particular medications, to include a mood stabilizing drug. 

During one session, Col told the patient to "Shut up...I'm the therapist."  

In addition to the civil penalty, the Board required Col to practice for at least one year under the supervision of a Board-approved psychologist. Col would be required to regularly meet with the supervisor, who would review his work and his practice. 

Col has a significant discipllinary history in Oregon, which includes the following: 

In June 2003, Col hired a then-current patient to provide interior design services for his new office. In July of that year, he began a sexually intimate relationship with the patient, which lasted until June 2004, when the patient ended the relationship. The Board suspended Col for one year and was ordered to have his practice monitored for four year when he returned to practice. 

In January 2013, the Board placed Col on practice supervision for one year as a result of numerous ethical violations in his treatment of a patient and her stepdaughter, which also involved the girl's mother and father. Col failed to clarify who were the patients and failed to handle the conflicts that arose between the various parties. 

Source: Stipulated Order in the Matter of Douglas A. Col, Ph.D., License 1346, Oregon Board of Psychology, Agency No. OBP #2016-057, November 8, 2018.


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