The Pennsylvania Department of State has filed 229 counts of misconduct against a psychologist and a social worker for treating clients with harmful, disruptive and dangerous methods. Psychologist Patricia Mansmann and her partner, Patricia Neuhausel, who operate a practice in Exton, Pa., known as Genesis Associates, overstepped the boundaries of the therapy relationship and/or exercised undue control over the patients lives, according to the complaint against them.
Their techniques reportedly include rage work and detachment. Detachment, the documents charge, destroyed family relationships and made clients dependent on the therapist. In this therapy, clients were allegedly often told to sever relationships with their families, halt sexual contact and maintain separate bedrooms. In at least one case, a married man was instructed to move out of his home, the complaint states.Rage work was described as a group therapy technique in which clients were encouraged to pound on pillows with plastic baseball bats while envisioning the person, problem or idea causing them difficulty. Rage work also included sessions in which one of the therapists and the other patients screamed at another patient with repeated and unnecessary use of strong visual images of violence, abusive statements, profanities and/or obscenities, the documents state.
Two years ago, ex-clients and relatives of current Genesis Associates clients sued the firm for a variety of alleged injuries, including inducing false memories of child sexual abuse, intentionally destroying families, telling clients to stop taking medicines that had been prescribed by other physicians and persuading clients to associate only with other clients and the Genesis staff.
The Pennsylvania charges are before the State Board of Psychology and the State Board of Social Work Examiners. They are being handled by the Department of States Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.Bureau lawyers charge that the techniques used by Genesis overstepped the boundaries of the therapy relationship and/or exercised undue control over the patients lives.Attorney Cornelia Maggio, who is representing the Genesis therapists, said the state was dealing unfairly with the therapists and that this was one more piece in a highly politicized battle against his clients.
(From 2 "Chesco therapists charged by state with misconduct" by Ralph Vigoda, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 19, 1996, p. B2, and CAN research.)