A BRISBANE psychologist has lost his licence for four years after preying on a female patient who told him she had been molested as a child.
In a Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal judgment published last week, Judge Suzanne Sheridan found Graeme King behaved like a sexual predator and was guilty of professional misconduct.
The tribunal heard the woman - whose identity has been suppressed - first visited King in May 2012.
During that first consultation, she told him she was dealing with trauma from her husband leaving her and was also suffering from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of her father molesting her as a child.
The woman gave evidence that during their initial encounter King repeatedly commented, "you are so beautiful", and "why aren't you married? I can't believe you're not married!".
She testified he asked to hug her at the end of the appointment but she said no.
While King, who has a mental impairment from a motorbike crash in 1980, did not deny the sexual relationship, he alleged he was forced into it.
"I hope the psych board takes the … incident in context. … In essence she raped and blackmailed me. … I would not have started, or continued, a sexual liaison with (her) if she had not sexually forced herself onto me (aggressively) and blackmailed me to continue to see her," King wrote in an email to the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency after the relationship was reported.
"That is the sole reason our sexual liaison started and then continued. So I hope that the board takes her extremely provocative and harassing behaviour (towards myself) into account when they determine my fate."
The woman's story was very different, stating King invited her out for coffee a few weeks after their first appointment and only ended when his wife found out.
"Graeme would tell me I was irresistible that day and that he wanted to be with me. I believed him and wanted to be with him. Our relationship became sexual that day," the woman testified.
She also said King prevented her from going to another psychologist.
"Graeme didn't want me seeing anyone else," she said.
"He didn't want anyone to find out about our relationship … he told me it would ruin everything for him if anyone found out. I feel as though he emotionally blackmailed me not to see anyone else by using my loyalty and strong feeling for him in the hope of a future that he kept open."
After her relationship with King broke down, the woman eventually sought care from another psychologist.
"In (her) case there was an extensive and gruesome history of childhood sexual abuse," the psychologist reported.
"And the therapeutic relationship becoming sexual was therefore particularly damaging.
"It was so damaging in fact that (she) believes her heart attack in August 2012 was a direct consequence of the extreme distress experienced through the relationship and its aftermath."
The tribunal heard King had continued to practise as a counsellor while his licence to work as a psychologist was under review.
He also said he would continue doing this if he lost his licence.
Therefore, Judge Sheridan banned him from providing any form of health service and noted King's predatory behaviour aggravated the offending.
King will be able to apply for a new licence in July 2020.
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