Our thanks to Nick for this. The start of the piece:
A Melbourne psychologist had a sexual relationship with a vulnerable patient whose wife then blackmailed him over the affair, a Victorian tribunal has heard.
Vesela Popovski’s conduct was described as “a deliberate grooming of her client” in findings published by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal last week.
The former psychologist, who failed to appear at the January VCAT hearing, lied for years about her sexual relationship with the client, who was on a mental health plan after a family breakdown.
The end of the piece:
Dr Lennings gave expert advice to the tribunal on the allegations about Ms Popovski’s conduct before she confessed to them.
He found the behaviour amounted to “severe boundary violations”, brought major discredit to the profession and that Ms Popovski’s denial and deliberate misleading of regulators demonstrated a “complete lack of insight into such violations”.
“Ms Popovski’s lack of candour, reluctance to accept responsibility for her behaviour, and the recklessness with which she conducted an affair with a vulnerable man creates quite a different context to my understanding of the matter,” he told the tribunal.
“She is an experienced clinician, there is no way that she did not know that her behaviour … was seriously wrong.”
The tribunal stated: “She has not appeared before us at the VCAT hearing leaves us unable to assess her insight and remorse.”
The Australian Psychological Society code of ethics prohibits psychologists from having sex with a former patient for at least two years after the professional relationship has ended.
Even then, it must be discussed with a senior psychologist.
Ms Popovski was disqualified from registration as a psychologist for three years.
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