Home Australia A veteran psychologist who had sexual relations with a 26-year-old client in his office discovers his fate

A veteran psychologist who had sexual relations with a 26-year-old client in his office discovers his fate

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A veteran psychologist specializing in post-traumatic stress disorder has been banned from practicing for four years for having a sexual relationship with a patient (file image)

A veteran psychologist specializing in post-traumatic stress disorder has been banned from practicing for four years for having a sexual relationship with a patient.

Douglas Brewer had been a registered psychologist for almost two decades when he met the 26-year-old woman who was admitted as an inpatient to Hollywood Private Hospital in the Perth suburb of Nedlands in January 2021.

The woman was reportedly at high risk of suicide and self-harm and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

After being discharged in February 2021, she began weekly therapy sessions with Dr Brewer at his private practice, which is also located in Nedlands.

Western Australia’s State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) found he began allowing her to study for exams in his office and sometimes drove her home after work.

In May 2021, the couple went to an Indian restaurant before Dr. Brewer dropped her off at home. They also met for coffee the following month.

A veteran psychologist specializing in post-traumatic stress disorder has been banned from practicing for four years for having a sexual relationship with a patient (file image)

In June 2021 they kissed in his office and the SAT discovered that Dr. Brewer and the woman had sexual relations four times in the next five months, three times in his office and once at the woman’s home.

Dr. Brewer hired the woman as an office assistant for three months and paid her about $700 a week.

The woman’s employment ceased in October 2021 and Dr. Brewer told her he was in love with her in September.

The relationship ended in November.

The Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) contacted Dr Brewer in December 2021 and asked for his response to allegations that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with the woman.

He denied they had a sexual relationship and described the woman as a former friend and employee with whom he had a close personal relationship.

SAT found that his response had not provided full details of his relationship with the client and could have misled the board about his interactions.

In January 2022, the Psychology Board of Australia placed a limit on where Dr Brewer could practice and ruled that his sessions with clients be supervised.

He renounced his registration two months later.

The SAT has found that Dr Brewer engaged in professional misconduct and breached the Australian Psychological Society’s code of ethics.

He was banned from applying for re-registration for four years and ordered to pay $4,000 towards the costs of the Australian Psychology Board.

The woman was reportedly at high risk of suicide and self-harm and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety (file image)

The woman was reportedly at high risk of suicide and self-harm and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety (file image)

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