• Petitioner Ordered to Be Weaned Off of Psychotherapy Treatment
  • July 28, 2016 | Author: Elizabeth A. Dietz
  • Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - Roseland Office
  • Bannon v. Ridgefield Board of Education. CP#s: 2008-30924; 2009-33181

    As a result of work-related injuries and surgery to her knee, the petitioner suffered chronic left knee pain, anxiety and depression. The Judge of Compensation order that Dr. S be authorized as the petitioner’s treating psychiatrist. Three years later, the respondent filed a motion to terminate the medical treatment being provided by Dr. S.

    The respondent elicited the expert opinion of a board certified psychiatrist, who testified that the petitioner was receiving psychotherapy, which is not meant to be a long-term type of therapy. This expert also testified that, upon review of Dr. S’s records, it appeared Dr. S was focusing less time on the petitioner’s treatment goals, causing sessions to become less goal directed and more palliative and supportive. The defense medical expert concluded that the petitioner had reached maximum medical improvement with regards to psychotherapy.

    Dr. S testified that the petitioner had shown improvement in her sessions and that there should not be a definitive expectation of time as to when her treatment should conclude.

    The Judge of Compensation concluded that there was nothing in the record to support the necessity for the petitioner to continue psychotherapy sessions in order to be able to implement the techniques and strategies that had already been provided to her for dealing with her condition. He further concluded that the treatment was becoming more palliative than goal directed and ordered that the petitioner be weaned off of the psychotherapy treatment over a period of 14 months. The Judge of Compensation’s decision is interesting in that it is in contradiction to what has been the current trend of allowing ongoing palliative treatment.