Psychologist’s reports for crime victims: Conduct issues

Recently highlighted by Stephen Warne & Genevieve Grant is an interesting misconduct / unsatisfactory professional conduct decision, Psychology Board of Australia v Greco [2014] VCAT 940.

A number of differing allegations were made against Mr Greco, some in respect of his business website. Of particular interest to those interested in the medico-legal interface are the allegations involving:

  • Exploiting clients with whom he had a professional relationship in that he used details of their traumatic experiences on blogs on the Website to promote his business;
  • Using as part of his practice, online assessment tools which led to, or were likely to lead to, inappropriate self-diagnosis or self-treatment; and/or were used by Mr Greco in substitution for proper history-taking and clinical assessment by him;
  • Writing reports for compensation claims that were excessive, clinically unnecessary and inappropriate;
  • Receiving remuneration for referring clients to another professional for professional services in breach of the Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics;
  • Sharing psychology files with a lawyer for the purposes of their mutual financial gain.

Findings adverse to the practitioner were made in respect of some but not all of the allegations made. Penalty orders (determinations) are to be considered at a later date.