Patient Sex Abuse By
Psychologists Said Rampant
By Rita Trichur
Toronto Sun
An alarming number of psychologists are having sex with their patients and getting away with it, says a leading medical expert on sexual dysfunction.
An estimated 10%-15% of therapists sexually abuse patients, said Dr. John Wincze, a medical professor at Brown University in Rhode Island.
The vast majority of offenders are men and their victims are usually women diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder and drug addiction.
"It's very common, yet these complaints hardly ever get to the licensing board," he said.
"It's certainly a dark shadow on the profession to have that type of misconduct."
Wincze presented findings from his Australian and U.S. studies to the Ontario Psychological Association yesterday.
He said the situation in Canada is much the same.
There have been 14 cases of sexual misconduct reported to the College of Psychologists of Ontario since 1994.
College chairman Rick Morris said sex abuse in Ontario is under-reported. "There's a whole group of people out there who've been abused but have never come forward."
The most common forms of abuse are vaginal intercourse, oral sex, fondling, erotic hugging and suggestive behaviour.
The abusers tend to be multiple offenders with anti-social personality traits, Wincze said.
"They justify it by saying it is a relationship with two consenting adults."