Washington state suspends mental health couselor Erik N. Bracht; married patient

On January 21, 2010, the Washington Department of Health (DoH) suspended indefinitely counselor Erik N. Bracht for unprofessional conduct.  According to the DoH’s Order, from July 8, 2002 through June 16, 2003, Bracht provided counseling services to a female patient who was married and who received counseling in part to “examine issues arising from that relationship.”  The Order states that on several occasions, the client made it clear to Bracht that she was interested in having a personal relationship with him: on one occasion the client invited Bracht on a social outing and on two occasions, contacted him at home.  While Bracht did resist these advances, reporting them to his supervisor and transferring the client’s therapy to another counselor, he shortly thereafter decided he wanted to have a personal relationship with the client and entered into such in August 2003.  He married the client in June 2004—in full cognizance of the fact that state statutes require that counselors allow two years to pass after the termination of the therapeutic relationship before engaging in social or other relationships with former patients.

Source: Stipulated Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Agreed Order on Modification in the Matter of Erik N. Bracht, Credential No. MHC.LH.00007519, Docket No. 05-03-B-1014LH, Master Case No. M2005-113570, Washington Department of Health, filed January 21, 2010.

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