By Dr. Robert O’Block
[Update: That article now appears to be offline, but appears to have been copied at this location:
The article speaks at length about the ayres case, and provides a pretty cohesive summary of the details of the case. Of interest specifically are comments about how ayres’ “controlling and vindictive…  … hidden traits became public.”
Just go read it for yourself. It’s very well written.
At the moment, because I’ve been thinking about shrinks in general a lot lately, I’m mostly interested in some of the statistical information presented in this article, which unfortunately parallels my general thinking on the subject.
Some specific points pulled directly from the article (Paraphrased):
1. Of the practitioners accused of sexual misconduct, 97% are males ranging in age from 22 to 82, mean age of 53, and mean of 25 years in practice.
This data counters the claim that ayres is no longer a risk because he’s “old,” which apparently was one of the arguments used when reducing his bail, along with the idea that he won’t offend any more because he’s not practicing any more, and that’s his modus operandi. (Who defined THAT as his MO?? If you ask me, the MO in this case is acting on homosexual interest in underage boys… getting paid by parents to have easy access and a good cover story, and having county and court officials select victims who won't be believed if they report are just added bonus... not MO. )
Criminy... it’s like saying that since he's no longer practicing, it’s not possible for the pervert to just trade child porn with buddies or go to downtown SF and pick up underage male prostitutes, pretty much with impunity, whenever he gets the urge. No! No chance he's still perpetrating! Good job protecting the population, judges! *golf clap*
2. Higher proportions of sexual misconduct reported for the following specialties: family practice, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry. The AMA reports that in the psychiatric specialty between five and ten percent of psychiatrists have had sexual contact with at least one patient, based on self-reporting studies.
Okay! So: If you mistakenly decide that a shrink is the way to fix whatever thing you think a shrink knows how to fix, odds are fairly good that you’ll pick one who is really only planning to take advantage of your state of mind to USE YOU to get off to whatever bizarre sexual peccadilloes got them interested in psychology to begin with. (ref: Ted Bundy)
Maybe they won’t abuse your trust right away. Maybe they’ll wait until you’re really dependent on them for your mental health, and then they’ll really give you a good mind fuck.
Ever been robbed? Something minor...? Like maybe someone took some cash or a trinket while you weren’t looking? Remember how violated you felt? Well this is a whole lot worse; and it has the added benefit of lingering and festering for a good long time.
This is my advice to people who have children, and who think that their children could benefit from psychotherapy: Don't.
If the shrink is one of these 10%, and they do it to your kid, it will be something that they get to live with forever, warping the way they are able to trust other human beings, warping their self-confidence, warping their self worth; very deeply warping the very way that they perceive the world every day. Good luck fixing that.
What’s the answer if your child HAS to go to a shrink? I don’t know.
Probably start by eliminating male shrinks from your shopping list; that reduces the odds of abuse apparently; if you trust those statistics. Being upfront and very clear with the shrink about the corporal results they should anticipate for any perceived transgression is a good STARTING POINT.
I think at the very least insisting on audio/video recordings of all contact, or always being present is probably best. Good luck with that though. Shrinks will guilt you into feeling like you’re going to damage the “processes” by being present. Or they’ll tell you that you'd be violating patient confidentiality, or that maybe you’ll feel like retaliating for anything negative your child says, and you’re not smart enough to manage your feelings about what you hear… But ultimately they probably just like their privacy while they’re getting off.
So to be clear, if this article is correct about the AMA’s statistics, the odds that your shrink is sexually abusing someone are:
Better than the odds that you’ll win the lottery.
Better than the odds that you’ll be diagnosed with cancer this decade.
Better than the odds that you’ll get in a fender bender this year.
Better than the odds that you’ll win the door prize at your company picnic.
Better than the odds that you’ll get your neighbor’s mail in your mailbox today.
Better than the odds that you were planning to have pizza for dinner tonight.
Better think twice before going to see that shrink.
If you choose poorly and decide to go anyway, I hope he doesn't take a cotton to you.