A “manipulative” NSW psychologist with expertise in treating sex offenders has been banned from practising for at least three years after having a sexual encounter with one of his patients and giving another a massage.
Daniel Rouse-Stanton’s registration as a psychologist lapsed in 2017, but the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Wednesday formally made orders that it would have had it cancelled on the basis of professional misconduct.
The 42-year-old was found to have ‘sexted’ a patient who was seeing him over depression and domestic abuse before going to her house for a prearranged sexual encounter that he scheduled in his lunch break in March 2016.
The incident occurred 18 months after a complaint was made over Rouse-Stanton’s behaviour towards a different patient — who he also exchanged sexual text and Facebook messages with — after he gave her an unplanned massage during a psychology session that left her partially unclad with her breasts exposed.
The tribunal found Rouse-Stanton’s actions were “improper and unethical”. It further found his attempt to persuade the second patient from making a complaint by “exaggerating” some of his mental health issues was “grossly manipulative conduct”.
“Both women were patients under the practitioner’s care and both were plainly vulnerable for a number of reasons that were disclosed to him by virtue of the therapeutic relationship,” it said in its findings.
“Moreover we found that the practitioner’s almost exclusive focus on himself coupled with his inability to articulate any real concern for the patients … betrayed a very concerning lack of insight or remorse and an almost narcissistic lack of empathy.”
Rouse-Stanton, who previously practised south of Sydney, can’t apply for a review of his registration cancellation for three years.