The Boston Globe
Psychiatrist accused of abuse agrees to shut down practice
By Alison Bass, Globe Staff
July 15, 1992
A nationally known Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, already charged with sexually abusing one female patient, has agreed to stop practicing medicine in the wake of three new allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Dr. Stanley S. Kanter, known for his work in group therapy, will officially give up his medical license on Oct. 1 under the arrangement made with the Board of Registration in Medicine last week. The resignation means he can never again practice medicine in Massachusetts or any other state.
A year ago, the Board of Registration in Medicine charged Kanter, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard, with sexually exploiting a female patient over a period of about 20 years. In April, the board began investigating charges from three other women that Kanter also had sex with them while they were in therapy with him. Kanter, however, resigned his license before the board formally amended its charges and began hearings on the case.
“As you know, Dr. Kanter is 75 and he’s had some health problems,” said Paul Cirel, attorney for Kanter, who recently moved from Brookline to Cape Cod. “Given his situation and his health problems, he decided he does not need the kind of aggravation that this could cause him.”
In its original statement of allegations, the board said that Kanter had sex with the first patient off and on for more than two decades during which time he also treated her in therapy and supervised her work as a therapist. The board charged Kanter with violating other boundaries of a doctor/patient relationship, such as asking the woman to research a paper for him and giving her gifts and money.
Although the medical board does not release the names of alleged victims, this particular patient, Jean Gould of Natick, has come forward publicly and asked to be identified. Gould, a writer and novelist, recently settled a malpractice lawsuit against Kanter out of court.
“I’m just glad it’s over,” said Gould, who is also co-founder of Tell, a networking group for victims of therapeutic abuse. “I’m very relieved I don’t have to go through a hearing. And I’m happy to note that the process does work, however slowly.”
According to board records, Kanter initially treated Gould and her first husband in couples therapy in 1964 and soon began seeing her in group therapy and private therapy sessions. He then abruptly ended therapy with her and began having sex with her in her home and in his car, according to the board’s statement of allegations. He resumed treating Gould in group therapy within a couple of months of initiating sexual contact and continued to have sex with her in her home, “including but not limited to acts of oral sex and sexual intercourse” for the next six years, the board alleged.
From 1968 to 1973, Kanter supervised Gould while she was a therapist at a junior college and he treated Gould intermittently from 1973 to 1987. During these sessions, Kanter often discussed his own problems and initiated physical and sexual contact with Gould, according to board records.
Gould terminated therapy with Kanter in September 1987 and according to the board’s investigation has since experienced repeated anxiety attacks, suicidal thoughts and nightmares. She has been hospitalized for attempted suicides and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
No details of the other three women’s allegations have been made public.
All the charges will be dropped when Kanter surrenders his license.
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