Board Suspends Psychologist John Thickins for Sexual Harassment of Patient

March 26, 2019

On March 8, 2019, the Oregon Board of Psychology suspended the license of John Thickins, Psy.D for 180 days. Dr. Thickins, who practiced at Sundstrom Clinical Services in West Linn, may be a colleague/former colleague of yours.

The Board’s document states that Dr. Thickins met with “Client A,” and adult female, over the course of 16 psychotherapy sessions. It was Dr. Thickins’ custom to give a hug to this patient at the end of the session. At the end of the last session on November 7, 2017, he gave her his customary hug, but also initiated more prolonged and intimate contact by stroking her face with his hand, which cause the patient to experience emotional and mental discomfort.

The Board found that Dr. Thickins’ conduct constituted, among other things, violations of Oregon statute regarding sexual harassment in that he initiated physical sexualized contact with the patient at the end of the session, which took advantage of his position of power in regard to the client which was both unwelcome and offensive.

Dr. Thickins was also ordered to pay the Board a $2,000 civil penalty with 60 days of the issuance of the order suspending him.

Thirty percent of convictions of psychologists and psychiatrists are for sex-related violations. 

Source: In the Matter of John Thickins, Ph.D., License No. 1078, Agency No. OBOP #2017-071, Oregon Board of Psychology, March 8, 2019.


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