Monthly Archives: February 2010

Lawsuit: psychiatrist Harvey Rosenberg admitted to dating patient’s ex-wife

On January 29, 2010, Steven B. Kay filed a lawsuit in Oakland County (Michigan) Circuit Court against his former psychiatrist Harvey J. Rosenberg, alleging that Rosenberg betrayed Kay by dating his ex-wife.

Kay’s lawsuit alleges that Laurie Kay, his wife of 13 years, told him in Spring 2001 that she wanted a divorce. Mr. Kay then became depressed with suicidal thoughts. As his mental-emotional condition further deteriorated, he was referred to Rosenberg for treatment.

Rosenberg counseling Kay for several weeks and then suggested seeing Kay and his wife together. He also counseled Laurie Kay individually and even counseled the couple’s son.

Despite counseling, Laurie Kay followed through with the divorce.

Mr. Kay made a suicide attempt in November 2001. He continued counseling with Rosenberg, who advised him to accept the divorce and to agree to a divorce settlement contrary to the recommendations of Kay’s attorney. “Upon information and belief,” states the suit, “Rosenberg referred Laurie to the attorney who represented her in her divorce…[which] was finalized in January 2006.” Mr. Kay continued to counsel with Rosenberg.

Following the divorce, Kay grew more depressed and, despite meeting and dating other women, he “obsessed over Laurie hoping that she would come back to him.” He expressed these feelings to Rosenberg, along with feelings that he would never again be happy. He additionally communicated to Rosenberg “his hurt, betrayal and anger upon learning about Laurie’s infidelity during their marriage.”

Kay spent more than $25,000 on counseling with Rosenberg.

In March 2009, Laurie contacted Mr. Kay to advise him that she and Rosenberg were dating.

Kay confronted the psychiatrist over phone. Rosenberg admitted that it was true.

Rosenberg agreed to a face-to-face meeting a week later in which he admitted that his actions were wrong. Rosenberg further attempted to justify his ethical breach and unprofessionalism by telling Kay that he “was in a loveless marriage; that his time was limited due to lung cancer; and that he wanted to experience happiness.”

View lawsuit:

Kansas psychiatrist Douglas Geenens disciplined for second time on patient sex-related violation

Douglas Lee Geenens, D.O., is a Kansas City area physician who specializes in psychiatry and child psychiatry. He has operated mainly in the Overland Park area of Kansas but also was also licensed in Missouri until October 2007.

On February 4, 2010, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts censured Geenens for sexual misconduct.

The Board found, as a matter of fact, that Geenens slept in the same bed as one of his patients during the time he was treating the patient. Geenens admitted the same at hearing and conceded that such behavior was a boundary violation.

The Board’s document states that the board “takes administrative notice of the fact…[that Geenens’ actions] have caused a public outcry in both the press and in the Kansas Legislature. The public perceives it should be protected from the actions of licensees who commit violations of the Healing Arts Act, such as by [Geenens]. The desire of the public to be protected from licensees who violate the…Act…is an aggravating factor which weighs against [Geenens].”

In addition to censure, the Board fined Geenens $5,000 and ordered him to pay $27,477.56, for the Board’s costs of investigation and hearing.

This is only the latest action in Geenens’ well-documented disciplinary history:

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts suspended his medical license for six months on December 11, 2004 with all but seven days stayed. The reason for this disciplinary action was that Dr. Geenens engaged in a social and then sexual relationship with a former patient–the wife of a colleague who had come to him for treatment of “depression and marital issues,” according to the Kansas Board’s Order, which you can see here.

Dr. Geenens married this former patient in Key West, Florida on December 15, 2007.

Dr. Geenens was under investigation by the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts but quietly “retired” his license in October 2007 when it was due for renewal. This, according to an official letter from the Board, “closed the Board’s case” against him.

Dr. Geenens was the treating psychiatrist of 13-year-old Matthew Miller, who hanged himself after one week on the Geenens-prescribed antidepressant Zoloft in July 1997. Zoloft is manufactured by the the Pfizer pharmaceutical company. According to a deposition Geenens gave in a lawsuit filed by Miller’s parents against Pfizer, Geenens was (and possibly still is) a highly paid Pfizer speaker, frequently given promotional talks on Zoloft. Story here (particularly paragraph 28).

Some time between December 2004 and present, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts re-opened an investigation of Dr. Geenens, due in part perhaps to complaints filed by Citizens Commission on Human Rights, citing his ongoing relationship with the former patient as a continuing violation of rules and regulations governing the conduct of physicians.

On October 29, 2008, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts filed a 23-count disciplinary Petition against Dr. Geenens, seeking to suspend or revoke his license for numerous alleged violations, 20 of which state that he prescribed psychiatric drugs to patients and non-patients without sufficient examinations. It also cites “boundary issues” in connection with improper relationships with patients. In one case, the Petition states that Geenens told a patient, “You need to get a divorce, move to the Plaza and we could have breakfast together.” The document has not yet been published by the Board, but you can see local news about it here.

Maine mental health counselor Anne Dellenbaugh surrenders license for sex with former client

On October 26, 2009, the Maine Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure formally reprimanded counselor Anne G. Dellenbaugh and accepted the permanent surrender of professional counselor registration.

These actions were based on the Board’s response to a complaint which it received in January 2009 from one of Dellenbaugh’s peer, alleging that Dellenbaugh admitted to being in an “intimate, romantic relationship with a counseling client.”

The Board’s document further states that Dellenbaugh admitted that she terminated the therapist-client relationship in April 2008 due to the client’s expressed personal attraction and her own unexpressed reciprocation and that she engaged in a personal relationship with a former client beginning in July 2008 and proceeded to a sexual relationship in December 2008.

Source: Consent Agreement In re: Anne G. Dellenbaugh, Complaint No. 2009-COU-5246, State of Maine Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure, October 26, 2009.

State of Washington revokes counselor Tony Ogemageshig’s license for sexual misconduct

On November 6, 2009, the Washington Department of Health (DoH) revoked counselor Tony G. Ogemahgeshig’s credential.

According to the DoH’s document, this action was the results of Ogemahgeshig’s conduct with a single client, described as having:
1. a past history of addiction of alcohol;
2. a past history of abuse by multiple male perpetrators and
3. due to experiences with a past male perpetrator who would drive in an erratic manner in an attempt to coerce the client not to disclose his abuse, the client was fearful of driving and did not drive.

Ogemahgeshig was aware of these conditions at the time he provided services to the client.

Nonetheless, among Ogemahgeshig’s violations were that he asked the client out to lunch on a Saturday and the client agreed. Ogemahgeshig drank a bottle of wine prior to picking up the client and smelled of alcohol. He arrived at her house wearing sweats and slippers and explained that he need to go home and shower before lunch. He did not explain to the client that his home was located in a rural community approximately 25 miles from her home. He drove in an erratic manner and at high speeds. Once at his house, he initiated hugs and kisses on the client. He then took a shower, during which he left the door open and called out to the client to bring him soap, which she did. After his shower, he emerged from the bathroom in only bikini briefs and asked the client to get in bed with him, which she reluctantly agreed to—getting on the bed. Ogemahgeshig got her under the covers and proceeded to rub her body through her clothes and under her shirt, kissed and hugged her and told her he was sexually attracted to her. She persuaded him to stop and they proceeded to lunch, where he again drove in an erratic manner at high rates of speed.

During lunch, Ogemahgeshig disclosed personal information about himself, his romantic history and his hope that the client could help him stay sober. As a result of Ogemahgeshig’s conduct, the client suffered substantial emotional stress, began drinking again and attempted suicide.

Source: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Order, In the Matter of Tony G. Ogemahgeshig, Credential No. RC00040089, Master Case No. M2008-117818, Washington Department of Health, November 6, 2009.