PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An administrative law judge is reviewing the case of a Portland psychologist whose license was suspended after her 12-year-old client attempted suicide following unorthodox treatment that included drinking milk from a baby bottle while sitting in his father's lap.
The four-day hearing for Debra "Kali" Miller, which ends Thursday, is closed to the public. Miller has been unable to practice since March, when the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners suspended her license. She has appealed the board's decision.
Miller did not immediately return a call for comment.
According to the board, Miller inaccurately diagnosed the boy with a rare condition known as Reactive Attachment Disorder by using invalid, unreliable assessment measures. She also failed to diagnose depression and recommended potentially harmful therapy to the boy that might have contributed to his suicide attempt, the board said.
Besides the bottle feeding, Miller directed the child to remain confined in his bedroom for extended periods with his door set up with an alarm. She also advised him to urinate into a jar in his room; sit facing the wall for "time out"; address his stepmother using "Queen" before her first name; and do physical exercises such as jumping jacks and crawling on the floor.
Miller told the parents to separate the child from his siblings, and referred the child to an unlicensed practitioner, the board said.
Last September, the boy was taken to a hospital emergency room following a suicide attempt by strangulation. He had been in therapy with Miller for more than a year.
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