Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Psychologist disqualified for boundary violation and providing substandard care to a patient
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Psychologist disqualified for boundary violation and providing substandard care to a patient

25 Jan 2024

A psychologist is banned from applying for registration for the next three years after a tribunal found she had committed a serious boundary violation relating to a client she also provided substandard care to.

The State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia (the tribunal) found Gillian Lampacher’s behaviour amounted to professional misconduct, following a mediated agreement with the Psychology Board of Australia (the Board).

Ms Lampacher and the Board agreed that she had counselled a male patient for anxiety and depression from March 2021 following the loss of his mother, father and wife, however the patient did not initially reveal he had recently been on parole for serious sexual offending.

The tribunal found that during a year of counselling Ms Lampacher ‘provided substandard psychological care’ to the patient in relation to her diagnosis and assessment, implementation of clinical strategies, and record keeping. It found the patient’s disclosures (or lack thereof) to Ms Lampacher contributed to the substandard clinical management plan she provided to the patient.

The tribunal also found that immediately after the conclusion of the therapeutic relationship, Ms Lampacher engaged in serious professional boundary transgressions with respect to the patient.

In finding that Ms Lampacher has behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct, it ordered that she be reprimanded, disqualified from applying for registration as a registered health practitioner for three years, and prohibited from providing any health service for three years.

Ms Lampacher was also ordered to pay the Board’s costs of $5,000.

The orders and annexure to the decision can be accessed via the eCourts portal.

Page reviewed 25/01/2024