Disciplinary Matters

The decision of the Hearing Committee is provided promptly to the psychologist, the complainant, the psychologist’s employer(s), and the College must give public notice of all suspensions and revocations by the Hearing Committee.  In addition, the Hearing Committee can order that the notice of all decisions be published.

Listed below are notices of the Hearing Committee decisions in the past 12 months.  To verify the registration status of any member, please contact the Administrative Assistant.

NOTICE OF HEARING COMMITTEE DECISION RESPECTING DR. JOAN WRIGHT

Following motions on June 2, July 31, and September 2, 2020 and hearings on September 14, 15, 17, 18, and November 23, 2020, the Hearing Committee of the College of Psychologists (the “Committee”) issued a decision dated November 25, 2020 wherein it concluded that a Member, Dr. Joan Wright, demonstrated professional misconduct, incompetence and conduct unbecoming a member in her treatment of a Client and in doing so, she violated the boundaries of her psychologist-client relationship with the Client.

The Committee found that the Member:

  • failed to use evidence-based treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) in her treatment of the Client and used experimental therapeutic techniques without the informed consent of the Client and such treatment continued over a period of 13 years;
  • was not adequately trained to provide the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy she provided to the Client;
  • chose experimental and non-evidence based interventions without presenting the risks and benefits of such treatments and without obtaining written or documented consent from the Client that clearly outlined the risks, benefits and right to withdraw from these treatments at any time;
  • failed to obtain the Client’s consent for the administration of Neurofeedback, Biofeedback, Tension Release Exercises, or Neurolinguistics Programming on the Client;
  • failed to provide the Client with the opportunity to exercise freedom of choice concerning the services, since the Client was not properly informed of the innovative nature and known risks associated with the services provided;
  • showed a gross lack of judgment when she requested the Client purchase and use an anal device at home when she had no expertise to recommend such device – the device being outside her scope of practice as a psychologist;
  • demonstrated a lack of judgment in requesting the Client remove articles of clothing in order to take photographs of the Client’s naked body parts without the Client’s informed consent, touching various parts of the Client’s body, including massaging the Client’s neck and asking the Client to get into various positions such as bending over on a ball;
  • failed to obtain medical clearance from a physician for the Client to perform physical movements, despite being aware that the Client had suffered a back injury;
  • failed to consider maximizing the benefits and minimizing harm when treating the Client;
  • demonstrated a lack of judgement and acted outside the scope of her practice as a psychologist when asking the Client to either take or not take medications prior to sessions without consulting the Client’s prescribing physician;
  • touched the Client in a non-sexual manner without the informed consent of the Client and without considering the Client’s vulnerabilities and high potential for misinterpretation;
  • failed to provide the Client with a copy of the clinical file when requested;
  • failed to keep adequate records and notes of her sessions with the Client;
  • failed to protect and promote the well-being and best interests of the Client both during her treatment of the Client and after her therapeutic relationship with the Client ended, and failed to provide continuity of care in closing the relationship;
  • demonstrated a lack of judgment when she failed to attempt to repair the breakdown in the therapeutic relationship with the Client and the facilitation of continuation of care for the Client;
  • failed to keep adequate records and notes regarding the breakdown and eventual termination of treatment of the Client;
  • was not forthcoming in her testimony during the hearing of this matter and her clinical notes produced for the hearing relating to the treatment of the Client were unreliable; and
  • committed boundary violations in that she:
    • borrowed a sleeping bag from the Client;
    • solicited the Client to participate in a promotional video for her clinic; and
    • consumed a cannabis-laced cookie given to her by the Client, despite knowing that cannabis was an illegal substance at the time.

By a decision dated April 14, 2021, the Committee ordered the immediate suspension of the Member’s registration and that she be prohibited from engaging in the practice of psychology while her registration is suspended.

The Committee ordered that the suspension will remain in effect until the Member:

  • Completes and passes a post-secondary level educational course, to be approved by the Registrar, at the Member’s expense, on each of the following topics:
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for the treatment of PTSD;
    • Ethics in the psychological treatment of clients; and
    • Psychometrics.
  • Submits to an inspection and examination of her practice by a member or members of the College to be approved by the Registrar, at the Member’s expense, who shall prepare a report which shall include a complete assessment of the Member’s practice including:
    • a review of patient records to ensure the Member is only using evidence-based treatments; and
    • a review of her practice to confirm her adherence to the Code of Conduct, ethical standards and informed consent.
  • Successfully writes and passes the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology in accordance with Rule 1.05.01 and the By-laws of the College, at the Member’s expense; and
  • Pays a fine to the College in the amount of $2,000.

Upon satisfaction of the above conditions, the Member will be eligible to receive a conditional registration subject to the following conditions:

  • the Member shall be supervised by a member of the College to be approved by the Registrar for a minimum period of 1 year (the “Supervision Period”) at the Member’s expense;
  • the Member shall implement any changes to her practice required by the Registrar as a result of the inspection and examination of her practice as provided for above;
  • following the Supervision Period, the Member must pass the oral examination in accordance with Rule 1.05.02 and the By-laws of the College, at the Member’s expense; and
  • the Member shall submit to a re-examination of her practice one year after the Supervision Period is completed, at the Member’s expense.

Additionally, the Hearing Committee ordered that the Member pay to the College a portion of the costs and disbursements relating to the Complaint within 12 months of the date of the Decision on Sanction in the amount of $134,510.63.

April 16, 2021

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MICHELINE PELLETIER – REGISTRATION SUSPENDED AND REPRIMAND

By a decision dated June 29, 2018, the Hearing Committee of the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick concluded that a Member, Micheline Pelletier, breached confidentiality and violated patient privacy. The Committee found that the Member’s unauthorized access of the files of two patients who were not in her care was contrary to the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists and constitutes professional misconduct.

The Hearing Committee ordered the immediate suspension of the Member’s registration, and ordered that the suspension remain in effect until the Member:

  • successfully repeats the oral exam prescribed by the By-laws; and
  • pays to the College a portion of the costs in the amount of $2,500.00.

Upon satisfaction of the above conditions, the Member will be eligible to receive active member status. The Member’s registration will be subject to the following conditions:

  • the member must satisfy the Registrar that she is adhering to the practice standards set out in the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists, notably by providing copies of employer performance evaluations at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months from the date she resumes active practice, or, if she practices psychology in private practice, by completing a year of supervised practice; and
  • the member must provide all employers with a copy of the Committee’s decision.

June 29, 2018