Hands-on-Healing Helping Professions and Lawsuits

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Thomas West Perron, a Manhattan psychotherapist, is being sued by two women in two separate lawsuits for alleged hands-on healing.

This kind of abuse of power by those in the helping professions, ranging from therapists to clergy, is growing as a reason ordinary people file lawsuits. Years ago, victims might have been too embarrassed or shamed by the experience to go public, never mind file a suit. Also there is money in it. First of all, there are the funds available from malpractice insurance. When insurance is involved, a settlement is usually in the wings. In addition, lawyers worth their salt will list among the defendants the alleged miscreants' employer. That's the deeper pocket. A lawsuit filed in the U.S. by Terry Kohut regarding his claims of sexual abuse by a priest includes Roman Catholic Pope Benedict as defendant.

The plaintiffs, both from Bergen County, N.J., are Alison Upright and Deborah Glazer. They contend that Perron had a sexual relationship with each. They are also suing his former employer St. Paul's Center of New York, on Manhattan's West 34th Street. The harm they suffered, they claim, includes clinical depression, mental anguish, and inability to sleep.

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