B.C. Psychologist Reprimanded Over Improper Diagnosis

A North Vancouver woman in a extended court battle with her ex-partner was outraged to learn that the partner had filed a report from a psychologist diagnosing her with borderline personality disorder.   The report, which also described her as abusing alcohol and illegal drugs had been completed by her ex-partner's therapist -  who had based his diagnosis entirely on second-hand information provided by his client without ever meeting her.  

In the formal complaint which she made to the British Columbia College of Psychologists, Anglique Giles reported that veteran psychologist Timothy Clark rendered his professional opinion based on three emails provided by her ex-partner.   She said that dealing with the resulting report, which was used as evidence against her in court, was a "horrifying" and "devastating" experience.   "He was his doctor. It's just shocking, like, are you kidding me?"  she said in an interview with CBC news.   "These misconceived ideas about who I was. What was I going to do?"

In dealing with the complaint, the College concluded that Clark's actions failed to meet proper  standards for professional conduct since he provided the court with a diagnosis "without any opinion or other direct contact with her" and that he "engaged in conflicting roles."     Along with a written reprimand, Clark was ordered to write a letter of apology to Giles.   The letter she received consisted of only two sentences:   "I regret your experience. I did not intend to cause you any harm."  

Describing the letter as "a slap in the face", Giles told CBC News that "not much happened — got a letter, got a sentence. That's about all that happened."   While the College acknowledges that the letter is extremely brief,  the message of regret was considered to be sincere.   Giles is not satisfied and calls for greater oversight of B.C. psychologists.  ""The laws really do have to open up to the reality that if these doctors break the code of ethics, they need to be responsible for their actions," she told CBC News in an interview. "I don't want this to ever happen to anyone ever again."

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