Canberra Psychologist Dev Roychowdhury Suspended for Three Years; Exploited Vulnerable Patient for Sex

June 12, 2019

A psychologist who had a sexual relationship with a vulnerable patient after "deliberately manipulating her" has been banned from practising for three years.

Canberra psychologist Dev Roychowdhury faced a hearing at the ACT's Civil and Administrative Tribunal in February and was handed the ban late last month, when he was found to have engaged in professional misconduct.

The tribunal heard the patient was referred to Dr Roychowdhury in 2014, where the patient discussed a recent break-up.

Sometime after their fourth appointment, Dr Roychowdhury engaged in a sexual relationship with her.

The tribunal heard Dr Roychowdhury subjected the patient to violent behaviour and emotional intimidation during their relationship, including accessing her phone to read her texts and view photographs.

The behaviour was first reported in 2016 when the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency received a mandatory notification from another psychologist. The patient had told the psychologist about the relationship and the profound effect his conduct had had on her since. Dr Roychowdhury's registration was suspended after this notification.

When the allegations were initially put to him, Dr Roychowdhury denied he had ever been the patient's psychologist and denied being abusive towards her.

"While the psychologist deserves some credit for ultimately conceding the allegations, thus avoiding the need to call the subpoenaed witnesses and prolong the hearing, his failure to fully engage in the process right up to the date of the hearing was unhelpful," the tribunal said.

The tribunal said the relationship began when the patient was known by Dr Roychowdhury to be particularly vulnerable. "In entering into a relationship with the patient, in such circumstances, the psychologist exploited this vulnerability. He failed to adequately protect the interests of the patient, and indeed caused her further harm," it said.

The tribunal found Dr Roychowdhury deliberately manipulated a vulnerable patient to achieve a sexual purpose. It also found he lied to a regulatory authority and abused the trust of his colleagues for personal gain. The tribunal said Dr Roychowdhury lacked insight into his offending.

"At no stage in his written submissions, or his oral evidence, did the psychologist express any true compassion or consideration for the patient, or the consequences his actions have had for her," it said.

"Indeed, in both his written submissions and oral evidence, the psychologist demonstrated a self-involved focus on his story, and the effect these events have had on his life. "

Dr Roychowdhury had argued the proceedings should be suppressed, but the tribunal decided it was necessary for the judgment and his name to be published to protect the public.

Source: “Psychologist who was in relationship with patient ‘manipulative’: tribunal,” Canberra times, June 8, 2019. URL:


No comments.

Post your own comment here:

Your Comment