Sussex

Psychologist Gillian Levett struck off HCPC register

A Harley Street psychologist has been struck off for failing to maintain professional boundaries with a teenage patient.

Gillian Levett let the teenager stay with her at her home in East Sussex, gave her gifts and took her to the theatre and cinema, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) found.

The panel heard Ms Levett told the patient she "loved her".

It said the pair had "entered the realms of a relationship".

The patient, known only as Miss A, said she had thought of Ms Levett as "part of my family".

The tribunal panel was told that Ms Levett had arranged for the patient to be adopted by her American friends.

'Should have realised'

But after those adoption plans fell through Ms Levett offered to become Miss A's legal guardian, the patient said.

Miss A told the panel that Ms Levett had let her stay with her every weekend "for months" at her home in Hove, on the condition that she kept it a secret.

The psychologist started seeing Miss A after the teenager ran away from home at 16, but treated her outside of normal clinic hours at her home and did not charge her for sessions, the panel heard.

The panel concluded that Ms Levett had discouraged the youngster from having contact with her family.

Striking the psychologist off the HCPC register, Derek Adrian-Harris, the panel's chairman, said: "Ms Levett should have realised that Miss A would have had reason to become deeply reliant on her and others because of Miss A's disturbed family background, her past clinical history and the treatment and help Ms Levett was giving to and organising for Miss A.

"The panel has not received clear or unequivocal evidence from Ms Levett about her thought process behind these matters.

"Nevertheless Ms Levett was also treating Miss A, using her skills as a clinical psychologist, and she clearly crossed boundaries of her professionalism and entered the realms of a personal relationship with Miss A."

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