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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5109
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Dear Just Answer Mental Health; I am considering a complaint,

Customer Question

Dear Just Answer Mental Health; I am considering a complaint, at the very least, and possibly litigation against an LPC. My divorce was final in November of last year. During my marriage, I was abused constantly, mainly mentally, but frequently any other way imaginable. This, of course, led me to agree to the divorce which my spouse requested. Also during our marriage, my spouse involved our children in arguments and my denegration. This escalated to unreasonable levels when early in our separation my spouse asked our oldest to enter the house at an exchange "come inside are you being made to get naked again and having weird things done to you again?"
I did everything I could to end 'that' exchange and immediately contacted my attorney so that our response to these statements were heard and legal.
These types of statements were brought up at our TEMP ORDERS HEARING, repeated to our Parental Responsibility Evaluator and my response was and has always been that my spouse is attempting to plant bad false memories in our children, by the time of separation, C1= 2 1/2 and C2 = 1/2, now nearly 4 and 2 repectively. Neither court nor the PRE sided with my spouse and no limits were placed on either of our parenting time. Somehow, we mediated so no hearing regarding our divorce & custody. Shortly after our divorce was finalized, my ex-spouse alleged that I had violated a restraining order and this caused my separation from our children for 2 months straight as we prepared for that Trial and prevailed. 1mo after I last saw our children, my EX had referred C1 to Child Protective Services, who called me to let me know a Forensic Interview of C1 was closed UNFOUNDED, 2 months before the above mentioned trial. Shortly after the trial, which ended in my favor, we finally had the opportunity to go before the court to illiminate the restraining order which was falsely imposed upon me, as my EX was and continues to stalk, control and abuse. 3 days before that hearing, my parenting time restricted to supervised visits until the Trial and until the restraining order hearing we had to continue due to the other case, my attorney contacted me and said that C1 had been taken to a therapist after the UNFOUNDED interview and had meraculously said something concerning in therapy, which forced us to allow a perminant restraining order and we agreed to continue with supervised parenting time to give therapy a chance.
The day before the reinstatement of parenting time hearing, I was called by child protective services, C1 had been Forensically Interviewed again the night before the call and they were closing case number XXXXX UNFOUNDED and with even more conviction this time. Now 3 1/2+ C1, more words and verbalized "NO abuse." The first referal to CPS occured when my EX called after having a month without interuption to coach C1 to say what may have been necessary to eliminate me as a parent. The second referal, made child protective services even more adiment that the second referal should be closed UNFOUNDED and affirmed their closure of 1st UNFOUNDED, b/c the the Therapist called CPS and said "I think C1 is READY to be re-interviewed now." CPS told the LPC, before seeing C1 for the 3rd time, "UNFOUNDED and why." Still, the LPC began with her first session focused on SEXUAL ABUSE and continued to the hearing, 14 sessions. The LPC testified the day after CPS called me with UNFOUNDED #2 that there was NEVER a reason to consider any other hypothesis, kids from that agency are sexually abused, and "would not expect that a child who had been forensically interviewed there had NOT been sexually abused," and, "[C1, when referancing her bottom (according to the Therapist) is referancing her vagina and a finger had been stuck inside of it]." The Therapist brought NO notes, records, recordings, file, and we have still not received a CV or a recount of what C1 has said in session. We subpeonaed the CPS Case Worker who testified that the Case Worker, Police Involved and Staff at the agency conducting the Forensic Interviews, concluded: C1 NEVER referred to her vagina, had not been "Told" by my Ex her age (Age? 1st Forensic Question) was told by my Ex to tell them "bad and mean stuff only," C1 told forensic interviewer what "BAD STUFF" she was "TOLD TO SAY" and that was promised a "Bunny Rabit from Target for giving the interview, because [my Ex] was nice." CPS Case Worker testified that "Significant Coaching of C1 by both my Ex and the LPC." and that everyone involved in the interviews/referals concured, as well as agreed with the UNFOUNDED CLOSURES. We won, my parenting time was immediately reinstated and excellorated, but but the LPC is still treating 'AS IF sexual abused' as decission making remains my Ex's. Are my concerns re: LPC & complaint/litigation valid, to motion for change in decission making I fear only fuels my toxic relationship with Ex further, however I'm considering this as well.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how overwhelmingly frustrating this situation must be for you. This is really a very toxic divorce (name of book). In fact, let me share with you the name of a book that discusses what happens when one parent decides that their child is not going to like the other parent, so you know this is not so rare. It's called Divorce Poison by Dr. Richard Warshak. I think I saw there's a new edition out and so I'm sure it's readily available online. My point is that your divorce is one of the more poisonous ones, though I was involved as the child's therapist in one where both parents were professionals and had the money to go to court almost 6 times a year. The child's life was made into misery.

You've spent a fortune in legal fees; you ex must also have spent some money I assume. I am not sure how to address your fear of alienating your ex even more and having her try anything else in retaliation. She's already tried what is considered nuclear war in child custody cases: false sexual abuse accusations. So I'm not sure what peace there is to be made here. This is more a case where you have to make sure she knows that you are prepared to fight again if she makes fabricates anything.

As for the LPC, it does indeed sound as though the therapist has formed an alliance with the mother. That is problematic as the mother has already been shown to fabricate charges and to compromise her children's welfare toward those ends.

Filing the motion to gain decision making powers or to at least require joint decision making power is the only remedial action available to you in such a situation: the therapist has an alliance with the mother that precludes being an advocate for the child with the parents to promote the child's welfare. The mother has shown a willingness to compromise the child's welfare for the sake of seeking revenge against the father. I'm not seeing an alternative course of action.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Mark,


I ran out of room on the question and your Paragraph 3 concerned me a bit... While I will file a complaint with the regulators as the LPC has held herself out as MS, LCSW while only having LPC licensure, and the LPC has some protection as a mandatory reporter, I believe the mandatory reporting is actually the reason litigation as well as official complaint is so compelling. It is my belief that the rules regarding madatory reporting and immunity as such cannot apply to an LPC that created the circumstance which caused the report by discounting anything that didn't confirm her hypothesis. She was told early and often by third parties there was NO abuse, continued to treat "As If" and who knows what her notes may say, I have her testimony as biased, rigid and my civil attorney suggest her comment regarding "vagina" may be considerred purjury as C1 has never said this to anyone. In fact, I believe I know my child that well. During my supervised parenting time, C1 said frequently "Mommy said you touched my bottom and that's why you have to be here now." During our separation/divorce, probably b/c I don't trash back, C1 often told me what others she love's had said, I took all the money, she shouldn't love me so much, she'd been told I don't love her, it isn't good/nice to have a room at Daddy's, even my animals and parents were mean to her... there is NO way, from a very attentive fathers perspective, that C1 hasn't said "Mommy Said" often to the LPC.


 


Another issue I'm having, while I can Google tons of info regarding malpractice insurance and cases/settlements, I cannot find on Psycology, APA or LCSW sites, or in general, any detailed info on planting false memories by a therapist, a list of ethical malpractice concerns, pitfalls, warnings etc. Any idea on articles, where to find them or other sites I may not have thought of?


 


Thank you so far... I can quote from Dr's Warshak, Gardner, Baker, Linda Gottlieb, etc., the Rivlen study in 1991, and, the amazing thing about your answer is, my Ex was so abusive during our relationship, used abuse, decission making as an award and empowerment for further abuse and a green light to go ahead with alienation that I've been so shell shocked for so long that your statment about making it clear to her that I'm willing to go toe to toe now and the next time, is the first time I realized my only hesitation, beyond continued engagement and/or the effect on the children, is and has been: she scares the crap out of me.... Thank you.... I needed to realize that.


 


You mistated one thing... you said "[my fear] of alienating my ex" and especially if this is posted publically, I have never alienated my ex, I have been nothing but supportive, although I can think of a couple of things in support of her relationship with our children that may have furtherred her alienating of me. I am a "Becoming a Love and Logic Parent, Independent Facilitator. If you work with parents, or even managers, I urge you to look into Love and Logic. It has, so far, preserved my relationship with our children, the entire premis is handing back problems to children with empathy so they learn responsibility and as a brief expample, when C1 told me, as I carried her into my home: "Mommy says your the biggest monster she's ever seen," although that stings, I first realized this is ultimately a problem between my child and her mother and without trashing back, I simply asked a question (gave a choice) "I don't think Daddy is a monster, what do you think?" "No, just Daddy." Great lets go get our Lego's.


 


Lastly, you'll get all 5. Things have been so litigous that my question was my very first public display of anything that I my daughters and I have been through. I clicked submit with one eye closed and carried my laptop even to the restroom awaiting yor reply. I completelly expected something brief: "can't give legal advice" or "get a therapist" and what I got was understanding, concern and a problem handed back to me with empathy. Good job.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
I appreciate the kind words.


I don't know about articles referring to therapists planting false memories. I know there was a lot of work in the 90s during the "reclaimed memories" phase, but those were with adults mostly. My impression would be that this is going to be a case where an associate at the law firm is going to do the legwork of researching precedents of malpractice suits filed against licensed mental health professionals.


I understand the malpractice is based on a breach of professional ethics in fabricating or assisting in the fabrication of charges against a parent and that you seek remedy both financially and in revoking her license. A lot is going to depend on what her insurance covers. Most malpractice insurance covers a certain amount of attorney's fees. She may only have up to $5,000 or she may have paid extra for more in attorney's fees if she's sued. That will determine a lot of how much such a case will cost to prosecute. If it seems you have enough evidence to actually get a financial settlement from her insurance company, then it makes sense; otherwise, I don't know. I'm not one for taking revenge in that way, but then, I wasn't dragged through the kind of horrible mud you were.


As a Love & Logic Facilitator, you know that establishing boundaries and clear expectations is important, vital. Well, I think that's clearly a requirement with your wife. I am not as concerned with alienating/supporting questions. I'm more concerned with consistency of expectation: she must know what the boundaries of acceptable behavior are and when she is asking for trouble. That's what you sense in what I told you. Yes, to coach a child to say what she coached hers to say reveals a lack of maturity that is close to pathological if not in the disorder range. Therefore, my concern is that she recognize the boundaries of acceptable behavior and what the consequences are. Thus, I'm looking for leveraging the large sum you've already spent into future benefits: that she know she must stay within legal and ethical bounds.


Thus, avoid verbal exchanges if possible and have emails and texts as much as possible so you have paper trails. I'm assuming she'll notice that. Just an example.


I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, Dr. Mark

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

Hi. I see you've viewed but haven't yet responded yet to my answer. I would be very interested in hearing back from you on whether you thought my response was on target or if we need to continue with further clarification. My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons.

Let me know,

Dr. Mark

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

Hi. This thread with your question and my answer will soon time out. Before it closes, though, I would be very grateful if you could go back and give my efforts a positive rating. If you would like to continue the discussion, that would be very welcome. But if you feel that you don’t need to, then please consider giving a positive rating.

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons.

Thank you,

Dr. Mark

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

Hi. This thread with your question and my answer will soon time out. Before it closes, though, I would be very grateful if you could go back and give my efforts a positive rating. If you would like to continue the discussion, that would be very welcome. But if you feel that you don’t need to, then please consider giving a positive rating.

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons.

Thank you,

Dr. Mark

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