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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 18:47 GMT 19:47 UK
Sex 'therapy' psychologist guilty
Generic picture of a car park
It was claimed Dr Manley would meet Mrs W for sex in car parks
A psychologist who had sex with a patient claiming it was therapy has been suspended from the British Psychological Society for three years.

Dr Steven Manley, 51, of Wrexham, was banned from practising as a member of the BPS after being found guilty of professional misconduct on Monday.

Dr Manley met the woman, known as Mrs W, at car parks across north Wales.

Mrs W said Dr Manley "brainwashed" her into thinking it would help her and charged her 35 for the sessions.

The panel, sitting in London, heard that chartered psychologist Dr Manley began seeing Mrs W on a professional basis in April 2002 after she had been referred to him by her GP.

Mrs W, 52, from Wrexham, said her relationship with Dr Manley first became inappropriate in December 2002.

Psychology is a one-to-one relationship and psychologists should not be doing the things he was doing to me
Mrs W

In her witness statement, Mrs W said she did not complain initially.

She said: "He made me feel special and it was the first time that anyone seemed to care about me. I did realise that it was unusual for a professional to do this though."

In March 2003, Dr Manley persuaded Mrs W to become a private as well as a NHS patient, charging her 35 for sessions which were carried out in car parks in Rhyl and Prestatyn, where they would have sex.

Caspar Glyn, representing the British Psychological Society (BPS), said: "He would justify such things to her by saying it was sex therapy."

'Totally brainwashed'

In June 2003, Dr Manley told Mrs W he was leaving his wife and persuaded her to leave her husband and daughter and move into a caravan with him.

Giving evidence, Mrs W told the panel: "He persuaded me that it would be better for me, that it was the right thing to do.

"I was totally brainwashed by him. He had taken me over by that stage."

Mrs W said she reported the affair to the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust after Dr Manley ended the relationship in 2004.

She denied she had been motivated by revenge, but did so because she did not want the same thing to happen to other patients.

She added: "There (are) an awful lot of vulnerable patients out there.

"Psychology is a one-to-one relationship and psychologists should not be doing the things he was doing to me."

Allegation denied

Mrs W said she had been left in a worse psychological state than when she began seeing Dr Manley.

Dr Manley, who was suspended while an investigation was carried out into the allegations, admitted professional misconduct in that he had discussed other clients with Mrs W and that he had tried to conceal their relationship by shredding her medical records.

But he denied the sexual relationship began while Mrs W was in his professional care.

The committee found in favour of Mrs W that the sexual relationship began before Dr Manley discharged Mrs W from his care at the end of May 2003.

He was found guilty of conducting himself in his work as a psychologist in a manner likely to be detrimental to client and of exploiting a relationship of influence and trust by embarking on a relationship with Mrs W while she was still his client.

'Totally inappropriate'

Phillip Partridge, chair of the panel, said the speed with which the pair moved in together following the end of Mrs W's treatment suggested they were already involved in a sexual relationship.

He said there were inconsistencies in what Dr Manley told the NHS Trust and his witness statement, whereas Mrs W had been a composed and coherent witness.

Under conditions imposed by the panel, Dr Manley will only be able to begin practising again as a member of the BPS if he continues to undergo professional training and if he does not attempt to practise psychology during the period of his suspension.

At the end of the hearing Mrs W said: "His actions have caused my physical and mental health to deteriorate. I feel he acted in a totally inappropriate manner."

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