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Embed code for: Letter of VA Counseling board
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March 29, 2016 Case # 172406
From: Rebecca L. Tesimale, LMFT
540 Coronet Circle
Fort Mill, S.C. 29715
To: Commonwealth of Virginia
Department of Health Services
9960 Maryland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, V.A. 23233
Dear Ms. Shelton-Jones & Board of Counseling,
I am writing this letter in response to a complaint you received regarding my counseling practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. The complaint indicates that a former client, Robert London filed this complaint based on a Home Investigation Narrative dated, April 4, 2014 performed by the Virginia Department of Social Services. (DSS)
I have never written or signed any report for DSS or the court or been involved in a home investigation with DSS pertaining to Mr. London. When I received this letter I tried to call you to find out if you have the narrative referred to in Mr. London's complaint, but your voicemail stated that you were out of the office until April and this response is due by March 31st. I then contacted the London's DSS caseworker Alicia Hunt to see if she could help me. Ms. Hunt went through the entire file on this case and could not find record of any home investigation dated April 4, 2014.
As I am not sure what the source of Mr. London's complaint is based on, it is therefore difficult to present my side in this matter as requested in your letter. However, I can say I have not participated in writing the In Home Investigation report that Mr. London refers to in numbers 1 & 2, nor have I written a report for the court as sighted in number 3 of Mr. London's complaint.
To respond to the final issues (number 4 & 5) listed on Mr. London's complain it maybe helpful to provide some background on my counseling association with Mr. And Mrs. London, which began October of 2013 when they requested Marriage therapy. The London's and I had 7-8 sessions together, the sessions were very emotionally charged due to extreme distrust issues on both sides. Both Mr. And Mrs. London referred to many past marital disagreements which took place throughout their marriage and during our sessions it was not uncommon to hear words like "separation" and "divorce" during their many arguments.
I take my role as the counselor in marriage therapy very seriously and have never influenced any of my clients towards divorce as it goes against the reason they are seeking marriage counseling in the first place. My goal in therapy is to help couples do everything possible to stay married, I believe that a counselor influencing or suggesting divorce to a couple, or one of the spouses, is never in best interest of either of the partners. Doing something like that would go completely against my personal and professional ethics.
In November 25th of that year I received a phone call from Mrs. London stating she was at a police station filing a complaint against Mr. London and that she was going to file for divorce. This was the first I heard she was set on getting a divorce so of at that point marriage therapy ended and Mrs. London then requested that I continue to see her for individual therapy. I did work with Mrs. London providing individual therapy until last May 2015, when I had to end my practice and move to South Carolina due to family health reasons.
Finally I want to fully deny that any of Mr. London's allegations against me are based in truth. As I have indicated in this letter I did not write or sign the report he is referring to, nor did I write a report to be used in court. At no time did I ever recommend to Mrs London that she should get a divorce, she didn’t share she had made that decision with me until after she had already acted on it. Finally, I believe that my services were never substandard and that my conduct was always ethical with solid boundaries in place as they are with all my clients.
Please let me know if there is anything more you need to help resolve this matter.
Rebecca L. Tesimale, LMFT