Washington state suspends license of counselor David E. Eskelin, engaged in personal relationship with former patient

On January 7, 2010, the Washington State Department of Health (DoH) suspended indefinitely the counseling registration of registered counselor and licensed hypnotherapist David E. Eskelin for unprofessional conduct.

According to the DoH’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Order, Eskelin provided hypnotherapy to a female client from approximately July 1997 until approximately April 1998.  The client testified that during that period, Eskelin hugged and kissed her and had sexual relations with her.  The DoH found that there was insufficient evidence to determine if the client’s allegations were true.

The DoH’s document further states that after the conclusion of the professional relationship, Eskelin went to the client’s house multiple times, took her to a gun range, helped her get a car, took her on a motorcycle ride and gave her money.

It further states that during the summer of 2000, Eskelin and the former client entered into a consensual sexual relationship and that ain May 2001, he provided the client a refund of the fees she had paid to him for counseling services.

Eskelin admitted in testimony that he realized that the meetings with the client were a violation of professional ethics.  The document states that Eskelin’s relationship with the client “resulted in pain and anger for [the client] and necessitated psychiatric counseling.”

Source: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Order in the Matter of David E. Eskelin, Credential Nos. RC00021812 and HP10001642, Master Case Nos. M2009-1 and M2009-2, State of Washington Department of Health Adjudicative Service Unit, filed January 7, 2010.

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