Monday, June 06, 2011

William D. Brown, Ph.D.: Ethics Complaint with American Psychological Association

April 8, 1993
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008

American Psychological Association
Ethics Office
750 1st Street, NW
Washington, DC

Dear Sir:

I request that you review the following statement of facts to determine whether they form the basis of a complaint against a Washington, DC-based psychologist with whom I was in therapy during the year 1991.

1. During the period May 29, 1991 to October 8, 1991 I had 20 weekly consultations with William D. Brown, Ph.D., at 1025 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 217, Washington, DC 20036; telephone no.: (202) 833-8792.

2. During the course of therapy I advised Dr. Brown of certain beliefs I had formed that might be termed paranoid. I told Dr. Brown that I believed that:

(a.) Dr. Brown had regular and frequent communications with managers of my then employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, in which Dr. Brown related to my then employer the content of what I discussed during psychotherapy sessions. Dr. Brown denied, when asked, that he was having any such communications, and denied that he knew the identity of my then employer.

(b.) My then employer had an informal agreement with the former manager of my apartment building, Ms. Elaine Wranik, whereby Ms. Wranik inspected my apartment daily without my consent and reported her findings back to my then employer. When I told Dr. Brown about this belief he said, “What do you think she does when she goes in your apartment, lay in your bed?”

(c.) My then employer had regular and frequent communications with my sister, Mrs. Estelle Jacobson, (609) 727-3295. My sister denies that she has ever communicated with my former employer, and I advised Dr. Brown of my sister’s denial.

Despite the seemingly paranoid nature of my belief system, Dr. Brown did not question the advisability of my remaining in therapy with a psychologist rather than my entering therapy with a psychiatrist, a mental health professional who might prescribe appropriate medication. The decision to terminate my therapy with Dr. Brown on October 8, 1991 was my own; Dr. Brown did not recommend that I terminate the therapy.

3. Dr. Brown is also a hypnotherapist and during one of my psychotherapy sessions attempted to induce hypnosis. Experts universally concur that hypnosis should never be attempted in an individual who is suspected of being paranoid; the induction of hypnosis in a paranoiac may lead to psychotic decompensation. The various seemingly paranoid beliefs that I related to Dr. Brown should have alerted him to question the advisability of attempting hypnosis in my case.

On October 29, 1991, about three weeks after I ended my therapy with Dr. Brown, I was terminated by my employer. Mr. Dennis M. Race, an attorney manager of my former employer, determined, in consultation with two mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, that I was paranoid and violent (or potentially violent) (presumed dx: 297.10--delusional (paranoid) disorder). I was terminated on the basis that my continued presence on the employer’s premises posed a threat of immediate danger to fellow employees; my former employer determined that its failure to terminate might constitute negligence.

You may contact Mr. Dennis M. Race, an attorney manager of my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, regarding this matter. Mr. Race may be reached at (202) 887-4028.


Gary Freedman

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