On November 3, 2011, the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice revoked the license of clinical social worker Jason E. Butler–the end result of a complaint that the Board received in November 2010 alleging that Butler had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a married female client.
According to the Board’s documents, Butler began treating the woman’s husband, who we’ll call “Mr X,” in the fall of 2009 and shortly thereafter the man and his wife attended marriage counseling with Butler.
After providing marriage counseling for several months, Butler began individual counseling with the wife, “Mrs. X.” During these sessions, Butler made various inappropriate comments to Mrs. X. He also suggested that she leave Mr. X.
Butler also engaged in excessive phone contact with Mrs. X, despite being under clinical supervision as a result of a 2009 disciplinary action, which was taken against him by the Board in part due to excessive phone contact with a 17-year-old female client.
During sessions with Mrs. X, Butler discussed his personal problems, including his dissatisfaction with clinical social work. He asked Mrs. X about her line of work, including salary information. Butler had her assist him in applying for a job with her employer. He asked her to meet him for coffee so they could discuss his application and they met at a Starbucks while he was still under Board-ordered practice supervision.
Butler continued to counsel Mrs. X evan after she expressed her concern that she had developed romantic feelings for him. In such a case, the therapist is supposed to properly handle the situation or assist the client to find another therapist.
Mrs. X reported to the Board that in July 2010, Butler and she met for a drink and that their relationship became intimate at that time and that the two engaged in intimate contact on several occasions.
In late October 2010, using a GPS tracking system, Mr. X discovered that his wife had spent the night at Butler’s home. He followed them the next morning as they drove to breakfast. Butler then led the husband on a high-speed chase on the interstate which ended when Mr. X crashed his vehicle. Mr. X subsequently filed a complaint with the licensing board.
After receiving notice of the complaint agianst him, Butler altered Mrs. X treatment record and had her fill out and back date the informed consent and intake forms which he had neglected to give her prior to beginning treatment with him, as required by state regulations. He also collaborated with Mrs. X to review his phone records in an attempt to come up with explanations for all the late night phone calls between them.
Though Butler denied all the allegations against him, he nonetheless acknowledged that if a hearing had been held in the matter and the Board had been able to substantiate the charges, it would have been grounds for disciplinary action.
Source: Settlement Agreement in the Matter of Jason Butler, LICSW, License No. 1241, State of New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice.