‘Christian Psychiatrist’ Gets Suspended For Bizarre Treatments That Included Riding Crops

Written by Doug Giles on June 18, 2018

If a therapist grabs a riding crop at any point in your session, you need to get the heck out of there.

Apparently, that’s advice that you need to give to people in 2018.

That’s just sad.

A psychiatrist from Memphis, Tennessee has had her license suspended for several months after an investigation into her conduct revealed that she had used a riding crop to whip at least 10 of her patients for not following her treatment plan.

Troubled individuals went into her office seeking help for their mental health problems and instead of treatment, they were hit with a riding crop and compared to a mule.

Dr. Valerie Louise Augustus, who runs Christian Psychiatrist Services in Memphis, had whipped several patients on the buttocks in 2015, according to investigation documents.

She used a riding crop, which is a thin whip used to hit horses, to smack several patients in 2015.

She also had the riding crop and a whip ‘displayed in her office’ according to The Tennessean.

Augustus’s clinic was formerly praised by a local newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, as one of the top mental health practices in the Memphis area.

So much for that.

The lawyer for Augustus said that it was just ‘a joke’ and that she wasn’t hitting the patients hard.

The investigation determined that she used the riding crop on a patient that had a history of physical abuse and was struggling with depression as well as suicidal thoughts.

And there were other patients that she hit with objects.

Investigation documents add she ‘made contact with other mental health patients with a riding crop, whip or other object.’


The 17-year psychiatrist had her license suspended for 60 days in June by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners after finding ‘no evidence’ of using whips or riding crops in psychiatrist literature as a part of treatment.

She was also fined $10,000 for her actions, $1,000 per patient she struck.

The state investigation added she used the riding crops and whips as a ‘a desire to exert dominance over her female patients and her inability to accept personal responsibility‘, according to WMC.

The website for the clinic says that Dr. Augustus takes a ‘holistic’ approach to healing.

Nowhere does it mention riding crops, namecalling, or humiliation.

‘Dr. Augustus emphasizes a healthy diet and regular physical activity, while optionally integrating her spiritual beliefs and principles into each patient’s healing process,’ it reads.

Source: Daily Mail

The clinic will be closed for June and July as Augustus has a suspended license.

It will be quite a process in order to have her license reinstated. First, Augustus will have to take a two-day course on medical ethics, professionalism, and boundaries. Then, she will need to be cleared by the Vanderbilt Comprehensive Assessment Program, which assesses individuals with emotional or behavioral issues in the workplace. Finally, if she is cleared, she can petition to have her license restored and will be able to work under a three-year probationary term.

Perhaps Valerie Augustus could take some time and reexamine why she named her clinic ‘Christian Psychiatrist Services’ and what that really means.

Sure, Jesus braided a whip and chased the money lenders out of the Temple, but I’m pretty sure He wouldn’t do that because someone struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

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