Therapist Loses License and One Million Dollars

>From the False Memory Syndrome Foundation News Letter


Psychotherapist surrenders counseling license prior to hearing of
California regulators

San Diego Union-Tribune, March 21, 1996

John Wilkens and Jim Okerblom

A La Mesa psychotherapist facing state disciplinary hearings has
surrendered her counseling license amid allegations that she coerced an
8-year-old rape victim into falsely identifying her father as the attacker.
Kathleen King Goodfriend was accused by government regulators of being
“grossly negligent or incompetent” in her treatment of the child, Alicia
Wade. The California Board of Behavioral Science Examiners said that
“pressure” by Goodfriend over a period of 13 months finally led the girl to
falsely accuse her father. As a result, her father, James Wade was
arrested, charged and faced 16 years in prison. Alicia was nearly placed
for adoption. Alicia’s mother, Denise Wade attempted suicide. Authorities
overlooked DNA evidence which proved the father had not assaulted his
daughter and disregarded a suspect already convicted of attacking other
girls in the neighborhood.

Under the agreement that takes effect April 15, Goodfriend admits no
wrongdoing, but she will no longer be allowed to practice as a marriage,
family and child counselor in California. By law, Goodfriend could apply
for a new license in three years. But in doing so, she would have to
acknowledge that her treatment of the child was “unprofessional” and
“recklessly caused emotional or physical harm” to Alicia, according to the
agreement. “The burden would be on her to show that she is rehabilitated,”
said Susan Fitzgerald, a deputy state attorney general who prepared the
case against the therapist. Although regulators had looked forward to a
full airing of the case against Goodfriend, they felt the settlement was
merited, Fitzgerald said.

Two years ago, the Wade family settled a multimillion-dollar civil suit
filed against Goodfriend, social workers, detectives, prosecutors and
others involved in the case. The settlement was about $3.7 million. Of
that, $1 million came from Goodfriend.

Courtesy of Patrick Wharton and Fathers’ Manifesto.