When people are hurting, unhappy, frightened, or confused, they may seek help from a therapist.

They may be depressed, perhaps thinking of killing themselves.

Nevertheless, research suggests that perpetrators account for about 4.4% of therapists (7% of male therapists; 1.5% of female therapists) when data from national studies are pooled.

therapist dating former patient-20

Miss Dungey claimed Dr Pates took advantage of her vulnerability when he began an affair with her in 2001. The court heard that the relationship ended in 2003.

Miss Dungey told Dr Pates she loved him, and he replied that her feelings were not reciprocated, and that he was not prepared to leave his wife for her.

Dr Pates, who lives near Ebbw Vale, South Wales, said that after being forced out of his post, he was now in retirement.

"I was the leading figure in addiction in Wales, and sat on Welsh and national committees," he said.

They may be bingeing and purging, abusing drugs and alcohol, or engaging in other behaviors that can destroy health and sometimes be fatal.

The therapeutic relationship is a special one, characterized by exceptional vulnerability and trust.

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The court heard that in his witness statement Dr Pates had described Miss Dungey, a former farm worker who had lived in Gloucestershire at the time of the affair, as having a "voracious sexual appetite" and being "possessive and scary".

Miss Dungey's counsel, Robert Sherman, said she had developed further psychological problems after the affair and that the doctor should have spotted them.

But it tells them they can date former patients, as long as they give ‘careful consideration’ to certain factors.‘Although it would not be possible to specify a length of time after which it is acceptable to pursue a relationship with a former patient, it is reasonable to expect that the more recently a professional relationship ended the less likely it is to be appropriate to begin a personal relationship with the patient.’ Doctors should only start a relationship with a former patient if they have used their 'professional judgement' to decide if it is appropriate and are still banned from 'improper' relationships with current patients (file picture) Some senior GPs, however, have previously warned that such relationships are always ‘flawed’.