Tag Archives: counselor

Andrew Phillips, mental health counselor, charged with sex with teen client, license suspended pending hearing

On April 20, 2010, the Washington State Department of Health (DoH) issued an immediate summary suspension on registered counselor Andrew Phillips.  He cannot practice until the outcome of a hearing.

According to the DoH’s document, between July and August 2009, Phillips provided drug and alcohol counseling to a 17-year-old female client.  Between approximately October 2009 and November 2009, the client was placed with Phillips and his wife in the course of a dependency action.

Between these latter dates, Phillips is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with the teenager, including but not limited to hugging and kissing the client, fondling client’s breasts, sexual intercourse and oral sex.

Source: Statement of Charges in the Matter of Andrew B. Phillips, Credential No. RC 60010154, Case No. M2010-314, State of Washington Department of Health, filed April 20, 2010.

Washington counselor Justin E. Steward gets license revoked for sex with vulnerable adult patient

On January 20, 2010, the Washington Department of Health (DoH) permanently revoked the registration of registered counselor Justin Edward Steward for unprofessional conduct relative to his conduct with a vulnerable adult who was a patient at the residential treatment facility where Steward was employed.

The DoH’s document states that Steward had sexual contact with the patient, including but not limited to the following: Steward requested the patient perform oral sex; the patient performed oral sex on Steward; Steward had sexual intercourse with the patient; Steward requested that the patient masturbate; the patient masturbated in front of Steward; Steward masturbated in front of the patient.  On or about December 11, 2008, the patient was discharged from the facility.

During February 2009, Steward posted electronic messages containing sexual content on the patient’s social networking webpage.

Source: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Order in the Matter of Justin Edward Steward, Credential Nos. RC60014313, Case No. M2009-1032, State of Washington Department of Health Secretary of Health, filed January 20, 2010.

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.

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.

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.