A psychiatrist has been fined $25,000 after encouraging a client to have sex with her husband while she watched.
The patient was being treated for depression when she raised her issues with sexual anxiety in 2013.
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard the psychiatrist gave the woman three treatment options.
This included seeing a counsellor, being provided with advice or practicing sexual activities with the psychiatrist’s husband.
The woman, who has previously lived and worked with the couple as an au pair, chose the third option of ‘sex therapy’.
The patient and the psychiatrist’s husband started off holding hands before engaging in intercourse while the medical professional watched, the tribunal heard.
Then the psychiatrist and her husband then performed ‘demonstrations’ while the patient watched.
‘The respondent saw her actions as just helping a friend,’ the tribunal documents read.
‘Because she did not recognize at the time that she was acting professionally, she did not approach the matter in a proper professional way, as she now accepts.
‘She has already imposed on herself a substantial limitation in her practice, and has sought and obtained psychiatric care.’
However the tribunal argued since she was prescribing medication she should have considered the woman a patient.
The tribunal found the psychiatrist, who has worked in the medical field since 1998, had crossed professional boundaries and didn’t help the patient.
The psychiatrist was fined $25,000 and her practice had limitations imposed on it.
She has also seen a psychiatrist since she advised this treatment.