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Psychologist Loses License for Religious Counseling

Patient was demon possessed, psychologist said.

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Key point. The state can never regulate a person's religious beliefs. But, under some circumstances it can regulate conduct that is based on religious beliefs.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a state board's permanent revocation of a psychologist's license in part because of his use of religion in the course of counseling. A psychologist's license was revoked by a state board on the basis of "grossly incompetent and plainly unprofessional conduct." The board concluded that the psychologist's continued practice posed a threat to the safety of future patients. The board's decision was based in part on the following acts: the psychologist insisted that a patient was possessed by demons; the psychologist used treatment that included praying with this patient to renounce Satan; and, the psychologist told the patient that she had been raised in a house of demons. The psychologist ...

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  • March 1, 1996

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