Psychologist accused over teenager
Wednesday 4th September 2013, 3:00PM BST.
A Harley Street psychologist who ordered a teenage patient to cut off ties with her parents told her that she “loved” her, a tribunal has heard.
Gillian Levett is accused of letting the youngster stay with her in her home, giving her gifts and treating her to trips to the theatre and cinema.
She even offered to become the girl’s legal guardian, a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) hearing was told.
The patient, known only as Miss A, said she thought of her as her psychologist but also “part of my family”.
When asked how Ms Levett felt about her, Miss A said: “The same. You can see in the cards she wrote to me she even said ‘love you’ – it was not said often but a couple of times.”
The hearing has previously heard that Ms Levett had arranged for the patient to be adopted by American friends. After plans fell through she offered to become her legal guardian, it is alleged.
The HCPC was told that after the teenager took an overdose the American couple, known only as Nan and Len, sent her a “cool” email saying they no longer wanted her to be part of their family.
Miss A sobbed as she described how difficult she found coming forward about the alleged misconduct.
“This is very tricky for me to talk about because I care so much about Ms Levett but I felt so hurt by her,” she said.
“I felt completely abandoned by Nan and Len and I felt angry with her siding with them sometimes… I felt angry with the whole situation. I was devastated by it.”
She added: “I am still very confused by this whole thing.
“On one side I was so hurt by the actions taken by Ms Levett… On the other hand I felt weirdly appreciative of Ms Levett.”
Andrew Campbell-Tiech QC, for the HCPC, asked: “What has been suggested is that you have invented a number of things and attributed them to Gillian Levett, do you dislike Gillian Levett?”
Miss A said she didn’t dislike the psychologist but began to question her actions after she started being treated at another clinic.
“That was when concerns were raised about how everything had been handled,” Miss A said.
Yesterday, Miss A told the hearing that Ms Levett had let her stay with her every weekend “for months” at her home in Hove, East Sussex, on the proviso that she kept it a secret.
Today, she told the hearing in London: “It was just very devastating because I wanted the help but at the same time I could not tell anyone, I could not speak to my family.”
Yesterday the HCPC hearing was told that Ms Levett had an “inappropriate relationship” with Miss A and she “failed to maintain appropriate boundaries”.
It is alleged that after the teenager ran away from home when she was 16 the psychologist started seeing Miss A but did not charge her for sessions, treating her outside of normal clinic hours and even at her home.
She is also accused of suggesting that Miss A change her name so that she was no longer associated with her parents and discouraging the youngster from having contact with her family.
Ms Levett is also accused of having “inappropriate relationships” with several other patients and breaching patient confidentiality.
The psychologist denies misconduct.