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The Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey)
N.J. lifts medical license of therapist
Psychiatrist’s patient alleges trysts in office
By Carol Ann Campbell
February 21, 2002

Psychiatrist Robert Jarmon

Psychiatrist Robert Jarmon

State officials have suspended the medical license of a Spring Lake psychiatrist after a patient said the two had sex during office visits.

State documents say Robert G. Jarmon, known for his lectures and a book he wrote about past lives and spirituality, engaged in sexual relations with a patient during two visits in the spring of 1999.

The psychiatrist also is accused of engaging in sexual fantasy play in other sessions with the patient, who came to him for treatment of alcohol abuse and depression. The state says Jarmon billed the patient for the biweekly sessions, which took place at the doctor’s home office on Brighton Avenue in Spring Lake.

The doctor’s license was suspended pending the outcome of a full hearing before the Office of Administrative Law. No hearing has been scheduled. The state is seeking to revoke Jarmon’s license permanently.

Jarmon, 59, did not return two messages to his office. His lawyer told the board he has left the state.

Jarmon was president of the alumni association of the New Jersey Medical School, but resigned in December, shortly after the initial charges were filed.

Joseph V. DiTrolio, a past president of the association, said he could not comment on the accuracy of the charges against Jarmon. He said one of the roles of the alumni president is to provide moral leadership. “You can’t be in a position where you can be questioned. Dr. Jarmon did the right thing and resigned,” DiTrolio said.

Jarmon was a popular lecturer in New Jersey, where he often plugged his book, “Discovering the Soul: The Amazing Findings of a Psychiatrist and His Patients.” The book, published by Brighton Productions of Spring Lake, strays from mainstream psychiatry and explores such themes as past lives, angelic visitations and psychic experiences.

“Join Dr. Jarmon as he listens to the souls of his patients,” the book jacket says. Jarmon has lectured on spirituality at many seminars in New Jersey, including some at women’s centers and retirement communities. The doctor’s Web site, which advertised his book and lectures, has been shut down.

In his book, Jarmon says he practices hypnotic regression, which he says enables some patients to relive experiences from infancy. He said some regress beyond their present lives to past lives.

In state documents, the patient accusing Jarmon is identified only by her initials. She was Jarmon’s patient from January 1999 until May 2000. The state says the doctor engaged in “fantasy play” with the patient, whom the doctor had dress in a paper-napkin loincloth. State documents say the doctor had the patient massage him with oils while he was dressed only in his undershorts.

The documents also say the doctor fondled the patient’s breasts in public. She also reported that the doctor urged her to keep the relationship secret, and that he told her about a previous six-year relationship with a patient.

The state says Jarmon stopped keeping treatment records for the woman in April 1999, though he continued to treat her for almost another year. He continued to bill her until October 1999, the state says. She eventually told other therapists about her relationship with Jarmon, according to documents.

The state ordered Jarmon to appear before a committee of the state Board of Medical Examiners in November last year. Documents say the psychiatrist refused to respond to any of the committee’s questions, including those concerning his education and training, as well as his care of the patient who filed the complaint.

According to the “About the Author” segment of his book “Discovering the Soul,” Jarmon graduated from New Jersey Medical School in 1973 with class honors in psychiatry. It states that he has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Medical Hypnoanalysts and was chairman of the panel on alternative medicine at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune.

At a hearing before the full board in December, Jarmon’s attorney, Robert Conroy, said the doctor was not “practicing medicine in the state at this time” and would not return to New Jersey for a while. He argued that Jarmon was not an imminent danger to the public.

Conroy, contacted this week, said he is no longer representing Jarmon.

The board, noting the “special vulnerabilities of Dr. Jarmon’s psychiatric patients,” said he posed a “clear and imminent danger” to the public and suspended his license to practice medicine. The doctor “completely disregarded the boundaries which are to be maintained by a physician, especially by a psychiatrist,” the board wrote.

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Robert Jarmon