PBS examines issue of sex on therapist’s couch
By Frank Spencer-Molloy
November 12, 1991
That decided minority of Americans who believed Anita Hill’s version of events will appreciate the blame-the-victim strategy that largely succeeds tonight when PBS’s “Frontline” explores the subject of sex between therapists and patients.
“My Doctor, My Lover” (9 p.m., CPTV, Channel 24 in Hartford area) shows how rape begets rape as the courtroom tactics of lawyers for a 35-year-old Denver psychiatrist accused of sexual malpractice take up where the psychiatrist, Dr. Jason Richter, left off.
Canadian documentary-makers John Zaritsky and Virginia Storring show us footage of Richter’s 1989 civil trial, interspersed with interviews of the psychiatrist, the patient, attorneys for both sides and a supporting cast of psychiatrists, including one who quit the American Psychiatric Association in disgust over its handling of the Richter case…
Richter does lose the case, but that is not the point. The viewer watches in amazement as the loss causes nary a ripple in his life and practice. An insurance company that the American Psychiatric Association partly owned covers the tab for both his lawyers’ fees and the judgment of $ 180,000. The state medical examining board winks at Richter’s wrongdoing, and the four hospitals he is affiliated with take no action against him. Colleagues continue to send patients his way…