Erotic therapist faces a two-year suspension

Borders were crossed… Anorgasmia’s research was a “personal interest” for Joe Levoni. Domino Postiglione in a photo
After utilizing “erotic techniques” to treat a woman’s smoking addiction and engaging in sex with her, a HYPNOTHERAPIST was given a two-year suspension from the practice of his profession.
As part of his research effort on anorgasmia, the inability to orgasm, Balgowlah resident Joe Levonian was also “reckless” in offering sexual massages to two other ladies.
Mr. Levonian, according to the Health Care Complaints Commission, “displayed little appreciation of the importance in maintaining appropriate professional boundaries” and would be a danger to the public if left unchecked.
A woman who wished to stop smoking filed a complaint with the commission in May of last year regarding Mr. Levonians’ sexual hypnosis.

In her testimony, the lady, known only as Client A, claimed that while under hypnosis in his office, Mr Levonian placed his palm on her breast and repeated, “You are getting more and more aroused.”
Mr. Levonian commented that she was tight and required a massage during their fifth session. According to the commission’s report, “Client A indicated that the massage became sensuous while it was being given to her while she was lying on her front with her eyes closed. When she flipped over, she noticed that Mr. Levonian had begun removing his pants, and they were having a consensual sex act.
At their meeting two days later, Client A revealed that she was experiencing emotional difficulty. She said that Mr. Levonian had consented to inform the Australian Hypnotherapists Association of himself.
Mr. Levonian told the commission that he felt “guilty, remorseful, and immediately understood that he had done the wrong thing and violated the professional limit… Client A said that the incident made her feel betrayed and violated, according to the commissioner’s judgment, Kieran Pehm.
In the course of looking into her complaint, the commission learned about Mr. Levonian’s research into anorgasmia and got in touch with two relatives who had volunteered to participate in the study by giving the hypnotist permission to touch their genitalia, anuses, and breasts. One patient claimed that after discovering Mr Levonian had taken off his pants and was leaning on her in silky boxer shorts, she had fled the therapy room and never returned. They were, according to Mr Levonian, football shorts.
Mr. Pehm claimed that the only justification for Mr. Levonian’s research was “his own personal interest” and that no recognized entity had given him permission to carry it out.
Mr. Pehm concluded that Mr. Levonian was, at the very least, imprudent in moving forward with his proposal without convincing himself and others of its legitimacy. It appears [he] could not have been able to separate his desires and remain detached while this was happening because what occurred during Mr Levonian’s session with Clients B and C was highly sexual.
For two years, Mr. Levonian, a nurse-in-training, has been prohibited from doing hypnotherapy, treating any sexual dysfunctions, or engaging in any human study without first obtaining approval from a human research ethical council.
According to a statement from Mr. Levonian’s lawyer, Claire Mallon, “Mr. Levonian was experiencing acute reactive depression at the time of the things in question… He feels terrible about his transient mistakes in judgment.

The case study must comprise the following: * * An introduction; * A synopsis of the aforementioned case and its surroundings.
* a thorough examination of the social, legal, moral, and/or professional issues raised by this circumstance, referencing your study in the field?
* Based on pertinent codes of ethics, professional standards, and legislation, a summary of proper professional and legal responses to the case study
PACFA establishes high ethical standards for those working in the counselling and psychotherapy fields. This helps to safeguard the public from damage and supports the ethical practice of counsellors and psychotherapists.
The Interim Code of Ethics 2015 and the Codes of Ethics of any PACFA Member Associations to which they belong must be followed by practitioners who are registered with PACFA. Associations that are PACFA Members are obligated to follow the Code of Good Governance.
When there are suspicions that the required standards of ethics have not been upheld, PACFA and its Member Associations have procedures in place for processing complaints. Practitioners are held responsible for any violations of the applicable Codes of Ethics through the complaints system.
Visit the Complaints page for instructions on how to file a complaint. According to PACFA’s Professional Conduct Procedures, all complaints are heard.
The PACFA Ethics Committee oversees and implements the organization’s ethical standards. Visit the Ethics Committee page for further details about the functioning of the committee.
To assist practitioners and uphold high ethical standards, PACFA also offers training in ethics and ethical practice. See the Ethics Training website for further information.
PACFA Code of Ethics Overview
For the benefit and protection of persons who seek out their services, the PACFA Code of Ethics defines minimal standards of ethical practice for counsellors and psychotherapists. Some of the most important values and obligations outlined in the Code are listed below. Download the Interim Code of Ethics 2015 for more information.

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Ethical Guidelines

Counsellors recognize and respect diversity among people and oppose oppressive behavior. Counsellors respect the privacy of their clients and maintain the confidentiality of information learned during the course of their work. Counsellors respect all people’s inherent humanity, worth, and dignity and promote this value in their work. Counsellors take steps to maintain and grow their competence throughout their professional lives. Counsellors obey the rules of the society in which they work. Counsellors defend the rights of their clients, particularly the right to informed consent.
Ethics-Related Duties
Counsellors who encounter situations that go beyond the scope of their training seek supervision and think about referring clients to other experts. * Counselors take all reasonable precautions to prevent harm to their clients due to the counselling process. Counsellors assume responsibility for making amends in the case that counselling does harm. Counsellors consider the social context of their clients and their relationships with others. * Counselors support client autonomy and urge clients to make responsible decisions on their behalf. Counsellors are responsible for establishing and upholding ethical limits within the therapeutic alliance.
Counsellors must not take advantage of their clients—past or present—either financially, sexually, emotionally or in any other way. They also must refrain from engaging in any financial transactions except from negotiating the standard counselling fee. The counsellor and the client engaging in sexual activity is never acceptable and is unethical. Any physical contact, whether started by the client or the counsellor, that aims to provide sexual enjoyment or that could be inferred to do so is included in this and is not restricted to sexual intercourse. Counsellors should be aware that the likelihood of a continuing equal partnership once therapy is over decreases the more emotionally invested they become in their clients’ lives during counselling. If a counsellor is considering trying to maintain a relationship with a former client, they must seek professional supervision.
Counsellors treat all private information about their clients—whether they learn it directly or infer it—in confidence. All verbal, written, recorded, or computer-stored information relating to the therapeutic context falls under this. All documents, whether written or otherwise, must be kept in the tightest of confidentiality. Without the client’s informed consent, no one other than their counsellor may observe them. Direct observation and any audio or visual transmission or recording are both covered by this. Counsellors and supervisors are in charge of upholding the client’s right to privacy in the supervision setting by making sure that any shared information is adequately masked. There may be exceptional situations that give the counsellor reason to suspect that the client would seriously damage herself or others. In such cases, it can be necessary to breach confidentiality, preferably with the client’s consent or following consultation with a counselling supervisor. By limiting the information shared to that which is pertinent to the current circumstance and by limiting it to those individuals who can give the client the assistance they need, any breach of confidentiality should be kept to a minimum. Unless there are overriding legal grounds, confidentiality agreements remain in effect after the client’s passing.?When using unique Counseling scenarios for reports and publications, further caution must be taken. If there is any chance that the client’s identity could be revealed, the author must acquire the client’s informed consent.
Contract Counseling activities should only be done professionally; they should not be done carelessly or in the context of other professional relationships. Contracts with the client should be reasonable and unambiguous. Counsellors get informed consent from a legally qualified person when a client cannot do so. All written and verbal information, including any publicity, should accurately reflect the Counselor’s training, credentials, and relevant experience, as well as the nature of the service being delivered. Counsellors are in charge of explaining the conditions under which counselling is provided. Counsellors must declare any potential conflicts of interest involving a client and seek supervision to determine the best course of action, which may include referral.



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