SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - A therapist at an Arizona clinic that specializes in treating sexual addictions among other conditions had his license revoked following a sexual relationship with a patient, according to a report by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners.
The Meadows is a prominent facility, which has treated many celebrities seeking help with addictions.
The report says after a patient's discharge from The Meadows Outpatient Center in March 2018, Joseph Whitwell continued to communicate and treat the patient through his private practice, which the health examiners board did not know about. The communication included thousands of text messages, touch therapy and a night where the patient stayed over at Whitwell's house.
According to the report the two exchanged more than 3,000 text messages from March 2018-November 2018 and also allegedly used an encrypted messaging app.
Those messages included "inappropriate gestures" including emojis, hearts and winks, the report says.
In late Nov. 2018, the patient stayed at Whitwell's home from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. The report says the husband of the patient located her car near Whitwell's house at 3 a.m.
Whitwell denied the two had sex in an interview with the board, but said a dual relationship existed.
The patient told the board in a Feb. 2019 interview, Whitwell's sessions included touch therapy, which she said at some point changed and started to make her feel uncomfortable. On the night the patient stayed at Whitwell's home, she said the two had mutual sex, but said it was the only time that happened.
The board also interviewed the patient's sponsor, who said the patient told her the two had sex.
After Whitwell was made aware the patient told the board the two had sex, he still denied it, according to the report.
Despite the denial, Whitwell signed a consent agreement to surrender his license and end his practice on Feb. 19.
According to the report, Whitwell committed multiple violations including engaging in sexual conduct with a former patient, engaging in conduct impairing the ability of a therapist to practice safely and competently, engaging in conduct contrary to ethics standards, failing to maintain proper patient records and violating state and federal laws pertaining to behavioral health practices.
The full report from the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners can be seen below.