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State revokes Lincoln therapist's mental health practitioner license over conduct
The Lincoln Journal Star - 7/21/2022
Jul. 21—A Lincoln therapist and drug and alcohol counselor has had her mental health practitioner license revoked over allegations that she befriended a client and took thousands in cash and trips from her.
Jessica Stolley, the owner of Zenliloquy, isn't facing criminal charges, though she was sued last year by a Lincoln couple over the same allegations.
The revocation, part of a settlement agreed to by Stolley, who waived a hearing, takes effect July 23, 10 days after the order and lasts two years, with reinstatement at the discretion of the department and upon approval of the NebraskaBoard of Mental Health Practice and the NebraskaBoard of Alcohol and Drug Counselors, according to the order.
In a petition for disciplinary action filed in March, Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Mindy Lester said the two boards had considered an investigation into the matter and made a recommendation to the Attorney General's Office.
The allegations involve a former client of Stolley's, who told a Department of Health and Human Services investigator she sought therapy in March 2019 after a panic attack and saw her for about two months.
Soon after starting therapy at Zenliloquy, Stolley began texting her and they starting spending personal time together, sharing meals, shopping and traveling.
She told the investigator that summer Stolley asked her for money due to a financial difficulty. At Stolley's request, she opened a joint checking account with Stolley and transferred money to her on multiple occasions.
Lester said Stolley used the money in the account for trips to New York and Washington, D.C., for them both and for a trip for Stolley, two members of her family and a friend to go to Belize.
The former client paid for Stolley to go to the salon and for more than $13,000 in costs associated with the intended purchase of a home in Maryland for their shared use.
In November, months after she'd stopped seeing her for counseling, Stolley asked her to back-date a two-year life-coaching agreement that called for fees of $120 per hour up to three hours, $575 for half-day sessions, $975 for full-day sessions and $600 per day for travel, plus airfare and hotel accommodations.
Lester said when Stolley spoke to the HHS investigator, she said she had received no compensation for her life-coaching services.
The attorney alleged Stolley's conduct and her dual relationship with a client constituted unprofessional as well as "immoral or dishonorable" conduct and was grounds for discipline.
"In a therapeutic relationship, licensees are aware of the intimacy and responsibilities inherent in the therapeutic relationship and must avoid actions that seek to meet their personal needs at the expense of clients," she said.
Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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