December 13th, 2012 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
The New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners has upheld the revocation of Marsha Kleinman’s license to practice psychology in the state. Earlier, an administrative law judge had ordered Kleinman’s license revoked and this is the result of her appeal. In addition to the revocation, the Board ordered Kleinman to pay $242,000 to the state in attorneys fees plus a $60,000 in fines. I first wrote about Kleinman’s license revocation here.
Kleinman has long been known in New Jersey as a mental health professional who was dead set on finding men to be sexual abusers. That led her, in one of the cases before the ALJ and the Board, to browbeat a three-year-old girl for almost two years in the hopes of producing an allegation of sexual abuse against her father. Amazingly, the little girl stood up to Kleinman’s intimidation, sometimes by saying “no” to her leading questions and sometimes by falling silent and refusing to take part in Kleinman’s efforts to destroy her father. In another case, a woman came to Kleinman to get a certificate of Battered Woman Syndrome. Kleinman ignored that completely, despite the fact that it was what she was being paid for. Instead, she repeatedly tried to get the woman to perjure herself before the court by claiming sexual abuse on the part of her husband. The woman refused and reported Kleinman to the Board.
Like the judge’s findings, the Board’s ruling is replete with the most damning descriptions of Kleinman and her behavior. The terms “gross malpractice,” “gross misconduct,”repeated acts of misconduct,” and the like appear time and again throughout the 57-page Decision and Order. According to the Board, Kleinman’s conduct “fell far below the degree of care, knowledge, and skill ordinarily possessed and exercised in similar situations by the average psychologist.” Her questioning of the three-year-old was “coercive” and “was inherently wrong, was unprofessional, and tainted any possible investigation of sexual abuse against [the father].”
Kleinman also lied repeatedly to the family court, to the father, the child and to the ALJ. She and the mother were plainly working in concert to get the little girl to accuse her father, which she never did. At one point, the mother is seen on one of Kleinman’s videotapes appearing in her office to inquire if the child had “gotten it right.”
Whether true or not, Kleinman told the Board that her psychology practice has dwindled to nothing. I find that credible given the cloud her revocation hearings have placed over her. My guess is that she got most of her business from judges who became hesitant to refer her cases because of the allegations against her.
Amazingly, the Board remarked that Kleinman still doesn’t get it. She admitted to some record-keeping infractions, but the idea that it’s not appropriate to violate multiple laws and rules of ethics for the sole purpose of separating children from their fathers seems not to have sunk in.
That’s partly why the Board imposed such draconian conditions on Kleinman’s ever attempting to regain her license. Those include not only paying the fines and attorneys fees mentioned above. The Board also requires Kleinman to herself undergo weekly psychotherapy for no less than a year and to demonstrate an understanding of the many wrongs she committed prior to reapplying. She also has to complete three separate courses designed to correct the deficiencies she’s demonstrated for so many years.
Even after doing all that, the Board will decide whether Kleinman may (a) ever again provide psychological services to anyone under the age of 18, (b) ever again provide any forensic services or (c) ever again provide any psychological services regarding sexual abuse.
With any luck, the men and fathers of the State of New Jersey are finally free of one of the most biased, misandric individuals at work in the state’s family courts. For years, Kleinman has worked to separate fathers from their children and children from their fathers, an effort she allowed neither law nor ethical requirements to obstruct. No one mourns her departure.