Kentucky Psychology Board Revokes License of Kathleen Kirby over Treatment of Child in Custody Case

June 24, 2019

On December 3, 2018, the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychologists revoked the license of Kentucky-Indiana psychologist Kathleen Kirby, Ph.D.

According to the Board’s final order on the matter, the basis for the action against her was treatment of a minor child whose parents were engaged in a contested custody matter in which she was called to testify.

Kirby treated the minor from 2012 to 2014, during which time she more than one report to the local office of Child Protective Services (CPS) that there had been allegations of abuse of the minor by his father. CPS was unable to substantiate any of the allegations.

Kirby then began videotaping sessions with the child for the purpose of attempting to document the statements he made regarding alleged child abuse by his father. The events which Kirby videotaped included but were not limited to:

During the second tape sessions, the minor child told Kirby that his father had touched his buttocks once with a knife;

During the same session, he told Kirby that his father did this 130 times per day;

During the third taped session, the child again mentioned the alleged abuse by his father;

Kirby instructed the child to remove his clothing and demonstrate on the videotape what his father was doing to him; and

The child removed his shorts and underwear, and demonstrated that his father had allegedly pressed against his penis and testicle, and inserted and object into his anus.

Kirby assume the role of advocate for the child in presenting the allegations of abuse by the father to the Court, because neither CPS nor the custody evaluator had evidence nor believed the child’s reports of abuse.

These videotapes, which Kirby submitted to the court in August 2014, were reviewed by the judge in the case, who subsequently made a complaint to the Board about the content of the tapes and the procedures used by Kirby.

Kirby allowed her license to lapse in April 2015, when she was under investigation by the Board for possible disciplinary action based on the issues reported in the judge’s complaint.

The Board placed Kirby in default for her failure to respond to pleadings and orders entered in this case, though she informed the Board that she’d retired and moved to California. Though her license is cancelled for non-renewal, the Board nonetheless possesses the authority to revoke it.

Source: Final Order, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Board of Examiners of Psychology v. Kathleen Kirby, Ed.D., Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist no. 0883, Agency Case No. 14-200, Administrative Action No. 16-KPEB-0094, December 3, 2018.


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