State revokes license of counselor Linda Bennardo for negligent custody evaluation

November 24, 2010


On May 7, 2010, the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners revoked the license of professional counselor Linda Bennardo for the following reasons, as found in the Board’s report: Bennardo treated a mother and her daughters for six months in 2008 and saw the mother’s son twice during that time.  

She recommended limiting the father’s access to the son based solely on information provided by the mother and daughters; in another case, Bennardo concluded that a three-year girl was highly traumatized by her visitation with her father—without having gathered any information on the matter from the father, parenting coordinator, best interest attorney or other entities.

The Board’s report also states that Bennardo failed to obtain informed consent for the aforementioned son and that informed consent for the aforementioned mother and daughters was incomplete, among other things. 

Source: Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners Adverse Action Tracking Form 2010, dated 21 September 2010.

2010-12-02 04:05:16
The board did not revoke her license. It is listed as revoked because in AZ you cannot resign your license during investigations. She resigned her license, but it gets listed as revoked. Also it was not a custodial evaluation, but a court testimony.

Laura R
2011-06-01 14:30:11
Linda treated both of my children. I found her to be caring and compassionate. She is willing to see both sides of an issue and has made sound recommendations with my children. My children are from a divorced situation. I found Linda to always be fair and objective.

Keri Goldman
2011-06-08 17:08:36
Even though she has had her license revoked, shouldn't other cases that she was involved in be investigated for false allegations and subjecting children to suggestive questioning? Ricardo Costa's two children were the unfortunate recipient of her "therapy" sessions which ultimately resulted in his arrest and subsequent imprisonment for the last 900 days, denied the right to a speedy trial, with a bond of $75 million dollars! Where is the justice in his case? He should have immediately been released once she surrendered her license to practice to avoid investigation as she was the ONLY witness in his case! He was offered a plea bargain of time served and turned it down saying he would never admit to a crime he didn't commit against his own children in even in exchange for his freedom! Even the lead detective involved in Ricardo's case worried about the children " responding with adult terms " Please help his family and friends bring justice where it is due. All he is asking for is his day in court to prove his innocence.Thank you!

Mark Roberton
2011-06-09 04:51:56
This Costa case defies sense, as well as Human Rights.
Odd, how conventions are flaunted by a country so vehement in representing 'truth and justice' - it cannot then be called 'The American Way'. Respect to this man for refusing to accept a plea bargain and have himself tainted by it and hamstrung for his own children.

Isabel Andreucci
2011-06-09 11:40:53
He is already 901 days imprisoned.
Why is the trial postponed so many times by the indictors?
Why was the Fast Trial, stipulated by law to occur up to 150 days after preventive custody, not being respected?
On what grounds was the bail of US$ 75,000,000.00 established?
Is there fair justice? Is his right to equal protection under the law without discrimination being observed?
Are Sedona and Arizona hiding an unfair case? ?
I'm looking forward for anyone who could answer these simple questions. Thank you.

2011-06-12 10:56:47
Whether Bennardo%u2019s license was revoked or surrendered upon pressure does not matter. The point is that her unprofessional behavior ruined the lives of many people and their children. She is not qualified to work in this line of work, period! The Board should ascertain that she%u2019s not practicing under someone%u2019s license as well.
I worry about the long term effect that her lack of due diligence will have on the families, and how it will affect the children as adults.

Sarah A.
2011-07-02 20:52:31
Linda Bennardo is one of the best child therapists in Arizona. I know her history in detail and how much the courts and attorneys appreciate her work.
What is unfortunate is the amount of sociopaths she has been harassed by, it is the nature of her work.
Disturbed children needing a therapist always have some very creepy abusers in their life. Since the area is so small, they have banded together to try to discredit her. The sanctions were miniscule. She didn't want to deal with the attacks anymore...which is the only reason she voluntarily surrendered her license. You can see by the comments on here that child molesters have a really sick cult-like following that support them. It is a very sad representation that our culture supports this and not children and those who support the children.
Attacking Linda is attacking children and those who support them. God Bless excellent brave therapists like Linda and God bless the children she helps.

3 year old's advocate
2011-09-18 02:27:38
The second paragraph is completely false. Linda Bennardo never gave a recommendation to the court and when the Judge asked for a recommendation she declined. Linda Bennardo consulted with all parties in the case including the best interest attorney, parenting coordination, counselors of the parents and even the father. The father was abusive toward her and refused to work with her. Bennardo's conclusion to the court was that the child seemed more comfortable with her visitations with her father after several counseling sessions. The Board of Behavior health refused to allow a transcript of the court record to be presented and only listened to the testimony of a mental disturbed man.

Answer for Isabel
2011-09-18 21:20:46
To Answer Isabel's Questions

The trial was not postponed by his indictors. Rico's attorney has postponed the trial.

Fast Trial was not respected because the defense requested continuances.

Actually there are no grounds for the large bail. Under Arizona law, no bail should be allowed because of the severity of the crimes and the large amount of evidence.

I believe the law is being followed except with regard to the bail amount. He is receiving equal protection under the law as far as I can see from the court's actions.

Quite the opposite I think is occuring. The defense is trying to make it look like an unfair case because they don't have the same restrictions on releasing information to the public. After the hearing is heard (assuming that the defense can no longer delay), the evidence will be heard unless the defense takes a plea which is likely in these types of cases where there exist lots of evidence. By taking a plea, the defense prevents the evidence from becoming public.

Hope I was able to answer your questions.

3 Father's advocate
2019-09-18 18:58:38
Holy Cr*p. She was NOT the "best child therapists in Arizona", she DID give the judge a recommendation and did NOT deem the child more comfortable with her father after several counseling sessions. If Bennardo was so confident in her "findings" why did she not appear at the hearing to defend her professional decisions, why did she settle for being a life coach and why did she change hen name? SMH

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