The incident marks a growing trend of therapists allegedly trying to sort out their own problems on the side, free of charge.
According to sources, local therapist Leland Alexander was reportedly caught providing counseling to himself on the side, unbeknownst to his family and coworkers.
“It started as a little chat here, a little confession there. It was just something fun, and I only did it for special occasions,” explained an ashamed Alexander. “I told myself I was in control, but before you know it I was talking about the psychological impacts of my toxic relationship with my father. How could it have all fallen apart so fast?”
Though Alexander has been removed from his position at the therapy clinic, the news has left many concerned about the implications of his actions.
“That counseling is there for the patients, not the therapists,” stated co-worker Melissa Gutierrez. “Everyone knows you can only have someone refer you to therapy—you can’t refer yourself.”
Added Gutierrez, “Learn to recognize the signs. When you wake up in an office getting the psychological treatment you need after a night of counseling others, you know you have a problem.”
Alexander first drew suspicion when several unregistered hours of counseling were found in his appointment book, but was only caught when clinic staff noted him entering a secured therapy office after working hours. Investigators claim Alexander could have stolen over 50 hours of therapy over the previous five months.“
Embezzling is no small crime,” stated one investigator. “I’d like to think this is an isolated incident, but I’m afraid this kind of reckless hijacking of psychological counseling is being performed by psychologists throughout the country.”
At press time, police were opening further investigations into whether Alexander had an accomplice, and as to the state of his mental well-being when he committed the crime.