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Werner v Landau

Werner v Landau

This is a cautionary tail for psychotherapists

This was a case brought by Miss Alice Landau against Dr Theodor Werner concerning 24 sessions of psychotherapy which took place between March and August 1949 and during the resumption of treatment from March 1950 up until January 1951. In April 1951 she attempted suicide. During therapy, she had developed a strong emotional attachment to Dr Werner, and there was a period of social contact between them after the first part of treatment was ended. This included letters, discussion about a weekend away together and visits by Dr Werner to her flat. She brought a successful case against him for £6000 damages for personal injury and pecuniary loss sustained by her as a result of wilful misconduct and/or negligence by him in his treatment. This was upheld at appeal. (Jenkins P, 1997, 83)

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