Swiss Psychologist Fined, Banned from Treating Female Patients

February 4, 2019

A court in the canton of Argovie, in Switzerland, found in favor of a female patient against her former psychologist (name withheld due to publication ban), whom she alleged sexually exploited her during therapy.

The psychologist was fined 81,000 Swiss francs, suspended, and was additionally fined 6,000 Swiss francs, for having “deliberately” encouraged a person “to engage in a sexual act by exploiting an emergency or an addiction.” He will have to also pay 45,000 Swiss francs in compensation to the patient.

The verdict puts an end to a long saga which started in 2007, of a woman who sought treatment for herself for trauma caused by sexual assault from her childhood. But, instead of being helped, she became the victim of her therapist. According to the newspaper Sonntag Zeitung, the psychologist initiated physical contact as part of the therapy. Thus the sexual relations continued throughout treatment.

It was in 2016 that the patient decided to file a complaint with the medical cantonal doctor, whose review concluded that there was no problem. Exasperated, the woman turned to the courts, who found the psychologist liable.

In addition to fines and compensation, the psychologist is banned from treating female patients though may continue to treat men.

Source: “A therapist abused his patient ‘for her own good’,” 20 Minutes, February 4, 2019 (translated from French).


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