4 Aug 2008

Psychologist before tribunal over relationship with parolee

5:04 pm on 4 August 2008

A clinical psychologist is facing a charge of professional misconduct before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in Hamilton.

The psychologist, who has interim name suppression, has admitted having an intimate and sexual relationship with a prisoner on parole, whom she was counselling.

She had been ordered to cease all contact with the man after admitting to her supervisor that she and her client were attracted to each other.

It later emerged that the man was living with her and was breaching his parole conditions.

The relationship deteriorated and ended with the woman taking out a protection order against the man. He later changed his evidence to the tribunal, stating that he had been in a sexual relationship with the psychologist.

The Director of Proceedings has told the tribunal that the psychologist's conduct amounted to malpractice and discredits the profession.