Shrink's bad therapy: ‘Sex with my husband while I watch’
A psychiatrist who treated a female patient with sexual anxiety by getting her to have sex with her own husband - while she watched - has been fined $25,000.
The doctor and her husband also had sex in front of the patient during the highly unconventional "sex therapy", a tribunal heard.
The patient had previously lived with the psychiatrist and her husband, as an au pair, and the two women later became friends.
But it was during a therapeutic relationship, while the psychiatrist was providing the woman with prescriptions for depression, that the patient told of her sexual anxiety.
The psychiatrist offered the woman a choice of seeing a counsellor, her providing the woman with advice or the patient practising various sexual activities with the doctor's husband.
The patient chose the third option and the psychiatrist provided her with what she described as "sex therapy", Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.
The patient and the doctor's husband then engaged in various types of sexual activity, from holding hands to sexual intercourse.
It all went on while the doctor watched, providing the patient with reassurance, if necessary, the tribunal heard.
The doctor and her husband also had sex in front of the patient, as a "demonstration", the tribunal heard.
The doctor had not thought she was in a professional relationship when she offered her friend the sex therapy, thinking she was just helping a friend.
But the tribunal said as she was prescribing medication for the woman, she should have considered her as a patient when she asked her for advice about mental health issues.
The tribunal found the psychiatrist crossed professional boundaries, engaging in potentially exploitative conduct, which could have caused psychological harm.
The inappropriate therapy she provided did not meet accepted professional standards, did not help the patient and was not good medical care, the tribunal said.
The doctor, 44, was registered as a medical practitioner in 1998, and practised as a specialist psychiatrist until 2015, when she began doing medico-legal work.
She had known the patient for five years by the time she offered her the highly unusual sex therapy in 2013.
The tribunal said it did not comply with any conventional therapy for sexual problems.
The patient ended up in a sexual relationship which would not have happened without the doctor's intervention.
While the tribunal said while the doctor had since sought psychiatric care and had shown insight and remorse, her actions amounted to professional misconduct.
On August 11, the doctor was reprimanded and ordered to pay $25,000 to the Health Ombudsman.
She also had conditions of practice placed on her registration.
The tribunal ordered the doctor could not be identified, after hearing of the effect it could have on her mental health.
Originally published as Doctor's bizarre therapy: 'Screw my husband while I watch'