Therapist Accused of Hypnotizing Patient, Then Having Sex with Her

Categories: Law & Order
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for lindgren.jpg
Matthew Lindgren
A Bay Area therapist who specializes in sexual assault and rape cases allegedly had sex with a patient while she was hypnotized.

SF Weekly
contacted lawyers for Angelina Rosiles, the plaintiff in the case, but they have not returned our phone calls. However, in a lawsuit filed in Alameda Superior Court last week, Rosiles says she was seeking psychological counseling from Matthew Lindgren, a marriage therapist at Oakland's Blackbird Family Therapy on May 18, 2009. He allegedly hypnotized her, told her to disrobe, then touched her breasts and genitalia.

He then had sex with her while she was in a hypnotic state, according to the lawsuit.

When Rosiles started therapy there, Lindgren and his supervisor, Ann Mulville with ABC Family Solutions, represented him as a skilled and "highly qualified" family marriage therapist.

"These representations were false," according to the claim. "The true facts were that Matthew Lindgren was an inexperienced, incompetent, and unethical therapist."

Rosiles, a Contra Costa County resident, says Lindgren abused his authority with "outrageous" sexual behavior. She said this fraud and sexual battery has caused her extreme emotional distress, anxiety, and humiliation. Lindgren has not returned phone calls or e-mails from SF Weekly. His Web site states that he is a licensed therapist who specializes in helping victims of rape, stalking, and sexual assault.

"I decided to become a counselor as a way of giving back to those who have helped me and as a way of creating meaning out of the loss of my own life," Lindgren says on his Web site bio.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

My Voice Nation Help
55 comments
Crim2k
Crim2k

I realize that this article is almost two years old now, and I'm also aware that the last comment was done almost a year previous to mine, but for anyone who reads this in the future, I feel that I need to make a few things absolutely clear:

Clinical hypnosis and stage hypnosis are two completely different animals. What the layperson knows as hypnosis includes the waving of a pocketwatch and the words "you are getting sleepy", and that just doesn't happen. Period. It's an antiquated notion long forgotten about and dismissed by anyone who doesn't make movies.

Clinical hypnosis is a hightened, almost precision-like focus on the task at hand, under a state of hightened relaxation. The person is still very much aware, and has the ability to end the session at any time they see fit. They just choose to stay in their restful state because it's a wonderful feeling (and in today's day and age, this kind of relaxation is extremely hard to come by, and many welcome the escape).

Checking into Lindgren's credentials, he is a verified therapist and is (or at one time was) a member in good standing with a country-wide network of therapists who strives to provide the most ethical care possible under the strictest of standards.

Crim2k
Crim2k

Now having said all of this, and in the interests of full disclosure, I am a hypnotist myself. We battle constantly with stigmas attached to the profession from people who fail to recognize its strengths as a means of assisting in life, and those people for whom hypnosis is merely making someone "cluck like a chicken" - those people who mock what they don't understand.

But as I hypnotist, I will tell you that in order to get any kind of malpractice insurance (yes, we do come packing), it is imperative that each and every session be videotaped from beginning to end, both for the client's - and our own - protection. In order for Lindgren to maintain his member in good standing, he would have had to follow these same rules and guidelines, which would inevitably have proven his innocence. The fact that I can't find any resolution in this case anywhere online, yet his Yelp page still continues to garner rave reviews to this day speaks volumes against this shoddily-investigated article. Even if you could get a word from his office, any call to any number of hypnosis clinics would have given you the needed information to learn about codes of conduct and protection mechanisms in place.

My final word in the matter, is that if "The true facts were that Matthew Lindgren was an inexperienced" and "incompetent", there's absolutely no way at all, ever, that he would have been able to get a woman into such a somnambulistic state that she would do such a thing as have sex with him - it simply could never happen at all. He would have to not only be competent, he would have to be one of the best ever. Because he would have had to have gone against more than 150 years of empirical evidence from Benjamin Franklin right on down that says this couldn't be possible.

Yes, Ben Frankliln was involved in the field of hypnosis. See? You learn something new every day; just not from this article.

Anon
Anon

I'd like to reiterate that printing a story like this under a heading entitled "CRIME" is completely irresponsible and has ended the prospect of my having any respect for this paper as journalism. It  constitutes an assumption of guilt, as it implies a crime has been committed. Considering how many worthless and cynical lawsuits probably get filed every day in this country, it also makes SF Weekly look like a sensational tabloid, or idiotically naive.  I have been a patient of Mr. Lindgren's and he has always behaved very professionally, never inappropriately, and in my experience does not even employ hypnosis as part of his practice.  I have benefited greatly from his help and found him completely trustworthy. In other words, "SHAME ON YOU!" PS It's also more than a year old and should not be on the internet, continuing to undermine someone's career without some investigative followup.

Anon
Anon

This is so sad. My heart goes out to the victim. Sad to see we still blame the victim, not the perpetrator. Why would you say "SHAME ON YOU" to us? Whenever a person claims rape, we take it seriously, not as fantasy. I thought we were beyond blaming the victim, shouting "Lies, slanderer". We've just kicked the can farther down the road. We're farther along than this in our society, aren't we? I guess we're not, Are you all sycophants? Where is your compassion for the victim? The victim is never the one who is raped. Please stop it.   How do you know (that is what your saying) that this victim is a LIAR? Do you have some special knowledge or does your love for Matt obscure your sense of right and wrong? Because he did not hurt you, is he incapable of hurting another? I wonder what the victims would say about that. Wake up. 

Anon
Anon

 You may not have thought about the  amount of damage that can be done to someone's career and life during the time it takes for a lawsuit to play out.  And B_here_now's point is that SFGate is ASS U ME ing a crime was committed. 

Anonymous
Anonymous

This story is slandering Mr. Lindgren and personally I feel it's disgusting and untrue.  First of all, I can say this because I personally sought therapy from Mr. Lindgren for a year, as well as my minor children and he NEVER EVER acted inappropriate or out of line. 

My children loved Mr. Lindgren and he has done so much for them as well as for me.  We came out of a serious situation of abuse and he was the beginning to our continued healing. 

Mr. Lindgren if you are reading this, I believe beyond the shadow of a doubt you are innocent and this story is made up from somebody who obviously has some issues.  My family and I are going to pray for you!!!  And if the accuser is reading this, please seek help for your issues because you obviously have a serious mental problem! 

Gloria F
Gloria F

Oh, please.  And I suppose she clucks like a chicken whenever someone says the word "tortilla," too.  Hypnosis is just heightened relaxation, the person is never "out" or unable to defend themselves.  This Rosiles character and her lawyer both watch too much TV. 

Lilyandanthony
Lilyandanthony

You Are A RACIST!!! If her name had been Angela Turner would the word "TORTILLA" have been used. I highly doubt that. FYI there are FIVE more women who have came forward!! The "CRAZY TORTILLA CLUCKER" must be contagious!! 

vannessa
vannessa

IM SO ANGRY AT ALL NOF YOU IGNORANT COMMENTS ABOUT ANGELINA THAT I CANT WAIT UNTIL THE TRUTH COMES OUT ABOUT MR. WONDERFUL MATT TO SEE THE TRUTH WHAT HE IS A MONSTER SO SICK AND PEOPLE THINKS THIS THERAPIST IS A WONDERFUL PERSON HE IS A PERVERT. AND KARMA IS A BITCH!!!

vannessa
vannessa

HAS ANYONE WITH ALL OF THEIR COMMENTS ANOUT THIS LAWSUIT EVER THAT THIS SUIT CIVIL OR SHOULD BE CRIMINAL IS NOT ABOUT MONEY!! WHAT MATT DID TO ANGELINA WAS CRUEL AND EVIL NO AMOUNT OF MONEY CAN UNDONE WHAT HE DID TO HER BELIEVE ME ITS SO SICK HE NEEDS HELP! HAS ANYONE TOOK A LOOK AT HOW HE LOOKS NOW LIKE A CREEP HE MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL!!!!!!!!!!

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Why is this posted as a crime story when this is NOT a criminal case? It is a civil lawsuit, for money. There are no criminal charges here.

Liz
Liz

P.S. Why has no other journalist in the Bay Area found this case newsworthy? Do you have some sort of connection with this case?

Rhonda
Rhonda

I am wondering why you did not clearly state in your article that this is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal charge. That may be obvious to you, but it bears stating for the sake of clarity. Typically, neither party is willing to comment on a lawsuit before it goes to court, so the onus falls on the reporter to make certain that all of the available facts are researched and stated. I am surprised that your editor did require you to check with the District Attorney's office to see if any criminal charges had been investigated or filed and then to state that information in your story. Without that crucial piece of information, your story is nothing more than a regurgitation of the plaintiff's complaint. It does make a sensational headline though. It probably played well on Google and got some traffic to your site.

Liz
Liz

To correct a typo: I meant to say, "I am surprised your editor did NOT require you to check with the District Attorney's office ..."

vannessa
vannessa

HE DID IT AND ALL YOU IDIOTS ARE ASSUMING THAT THE VICTIM  IS CRAZY I KNOW FOR A FACT HE DID THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO SAW MATT WITH ANGELINA HE SHOULD AND WILL BE FOUND GUILTY WHEN ALL THE FACTS ARE PRESENTED IN A COURT OF LAW SHAME ON ALL OF YOU PRESSUMING YOU KNOW HE IS INNOCENT HE HAS RUINED HER LIFE MAY JUSTICE BE SERVED.

apocalypse
apocalypse

@vannessa I'm definitely assuming that you're crazy considering you're using all caps and ranting like a crazy person. You say he did it, and you know this because? The truth behind this article is that no one knows the truth as of yet, and so in my opinion Erin Sherbert organized a very bias and slanderous article.

Liz
Liz

He is not being accused of a crime. This is a civil lawsuit. The District Attorney's office has not filed any charges in this case. This lawsuit is about money.

maa89
maa89

A Bay Area therapist "who specializes in sexual assault and rape cases".  Indeed, he does.

Bruce Castillo
Bruce Castillo

The referenced complaint is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal charge, so for a journalist to post this under a "crime" heading is the first clue that she has no idea what she is doing.  Second, anyone who writes about legal matters has the responsibility to inform themselves on minimally significant legal phrases that appear in pleadings like this.  For example, this complaint qualifies all of Ms. Rosiles' accusations with the phrase "based on information and belief."  Her own lawyer wrote it that way.  What that means, in legal terms, is that they have no personal knowledge or evidence showing that the fact stated is actually true, and cannot swear to it under oath, i.e., at most, SHE THINKS IT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED BUT EVEN SHE IS NOT SURE, or is unwilling to swear in a way that could get her prosecuted for perjury.  Get it, people?  The alleged "victim" isn't even willing to commit to saying for sure if this even happened, but they are taking a swing at a professional they know is probably well insured.  This is obviously about money folks.  If it wasn't, there would be criminal charges, backed up by a showing of evidence to a judge who would decide if it was fair to put this man through the ordeal of defending himself.  Now, that would be newsworthy.  This is just crap, spun out to the ethers by someone who didn't even understand what she was reading, that can unfortunately do far more damage than the malicious lawsuit itself.

Concerned for Erin
Concerned for Erin

This article is a disgrace to your paper. You obviously have no regard for health professionals and the work they do on the front lines with extremely disturbed, traumatized people who need help. You may think you are helping Ms. Rosiles, or the people of the Bay area somehow by printing this story, but in actuality you are harming the entire system, including this woman, while you try to make a buck. By the way, the final line of the article shows exactly where you are at on a psychological level as you are writing this junk. You misquoted Matt Lindgren as saying he became a therapist to create "meaning out of the loss OF my own life"...the actual quote on his website is to "create meaning out of the loss  IN my own life". That might be a Freudian slip Erin, so you might want to seek attention yourself for your suicidal ideation, I am concerned for you.

Concerned for Erin
Concerned for Erin

This article is a disgrace to your paper. You obviously have no regard for health professionals and the work they do on the front lines with extremely disturbed, traumatized people who need help. You may think you are helping Ms. Rosiles, or the people of the Bay area somehow by printing this story, but in actuality you are harming the entire system, including this woman, while you try to make a buck. By the way, the final line of the article shows exactly where you are at on a psychological level as you are writing this junk. You misquoted Matt Lindgren as saying he became a therapist to create "meaning out of the loss OF my own life"...the actual quote on his website is to "create meaning out of the loss of IN my own life". 

That might be a Freudian slip Erin, so you might want to seek attention yourself for your suicidal ideation, I am concerned for you. 

Smittychrist
Smittychrist

If this is a civil suit, which I am assuming it is, then where is the criminal aspect? I am sure that the Alameda County D.A. would have had little problem providing information on any charges against Mr. Lindgren, if there were any to begin with, which would have appeared in the SF Weekly's original article, therefore save your guilt or innocence statements. What appears to be at issue here is negligence. I think what we have is a case of a disgruntled client (for whatever reasons those may be) and a therapist.. client has issues and files baseless (i.e. no criminal complaint to back up her story) lawsuit against professional services provider. The courts will sort all of this out, at great expense to both parties and time spent, county resources diverted etc. Meanwhile the therapist gets to be tried in the court of public opinion. It seems fair that a rag such as the SFWeekly, a known "Carpet Bagging" Corporate moneyed interest in the greater Bay Area would be culpable of such "Yellow" journalism. Seriously SF Weekly, you put a civil complaint in the crime section? who edits your publication? These are questions that maybe the EBX or SF Guardian (both locally owned and run publications. NOT CORPORATE) can answer, hey Robert Gammon, I'm lookin' at you!

andee t
andee t

is this a joke?  why would your publication print this?  This is almost to the point of libel.  I know you said allegedly but really?  this article seems very biased towards the alleged victim and what's the point of this article?  totally missed it.

Anastasiaple
Anastasiaple

  I am disgusted to see a gossipy blog where the "e-journalist" responds to public comments, which is highly unprofessional.  This piece of writing should stand alone if it was legitimate.  In my personal experience, Blackbird Family Therapy is a professional organization that has been helping me progress towards better spiritual and mental health in such a short time in line with modern ethics and morals.    As a Clinical Social Worker Intern, I highly recommend Matt Lindgren as your therapist. He respects my boundaries, provides useful information, guidance, and is knowledgeable/experienced in his field. I hope to continue my passage to a better life through his therapy and has earned my trust in the time I've known him despite my personal trauma. He is very understanding and patient and has helped me enforce boundaries with men through therapeutic exercises that are empowering.  Because of his empowering therapy and encouragement, I was able to get into graduate school because he helped increase my self esteem and self worth.  Please do not take this article lightly and always read articles with a grain of salt, especially American pop news.

Ghostcar
Ghostcar

This is my therapist. I just found out about this allegation and I find this highly disturbing, naturally. I know in my heart and mind that he could not have done anything like this. He is a respectable and considerate therapist- and as a woman, I have never felt any sort of inappropriateness occur in our sessions. If anything, I took notice that he was very clear about our professional boundaries during my initial consultation. This article is damaging to Matthew and to his patients- a therapeutic journey is one of the most important journeys one can take and the one that requires the most trust between therapist and patient. This accusation undermines this trust and is potentially damaging to the transformative journeys of his patients. I find this article to be unnecessary, ethically questionable, and potentially damaging. 

partofthepuzzle
partofthepuzzle

I'm just appalled at how low SF Weekly has sunk with it's salacious and mindless attempts to grab a few page views. An accusation of this nature, *without any other supporting evidence* is NOT news.

Even a little research on the part of the writer would reveal that that false accusations of this nature, directed at therapists doing this kind of sexual recovery work, occur often enough to warrant the utmost journalistic care in deciding whether to run the story at all, and if so, even more care in writing about it. However, the tone of this article is very strongly biased toward assuming the Mr. Lindgren is most likely guilty. I asked four of my friends to read it without any prior information about it and they all had the same reaction. It appears to me that the writer has been hustled by the woman's lawyer, who of course wants to win the case and is using the writer to generate some media hype and garner public sympathy that presumes the therapist is guilty. Either the writer is rather dense or more likely, just saw the opportunity for a headline grabbing "Snitch" article, complete with a clear photo of the accused therapist, probably grabbed by the writer from his web page.

This article constitutes a serious lapse of journalistic integrity on the part of the writer and the publisher. If there isn't some immediately follow up to rectify this pathetic piece, SF Weekly's will just continue to sink under the weight of it's own mindless and callous greed. Considering the possible personal and professional damage to the accused therapist if the charges are false, I don't know how you can live with yourselves.

Oaklander
Oaklander

I concer with oliver; we read news all the times "about alleged crimes" and what people are accused of with respect to potential crimes. Read the words people : Ms. Sherbert did not report or infer he committed a crime. She reported an alleged rape. A pretty serious crime that should be reported.

Guest
Guest

The job title is spelled "The Rapist." So subliminally... Therapist = rapist.

Oliver
Oliver

You guys are being way too harsh on the author of this article. You're accusing her of insisting that the man is guilty, when every statement that suggests that is followed by or includes "according to the claim" , "Rosiles said", or "allegedly". It's still a bit biased against Lindgren, but without a statement from him (which she was unable to get), this article is just giving all the information that's available. It's not saying that he was definitely guilty. He may or not have been guilty (I doubt that he is, as far as I know, hypnotism only works that way on TV, though I'm of course not an expert), but Erin Sherbert did not once actually suggest that he was definitely guilty.

Slickd
Slickd

I cannot believe that SFWeekly can become respectable anytime with articles like this. The alleged victim is probably still hallucinating on shrooms and her lawyer is a well advertised ambulance chaser, probably in it for for the 15 mins of fame. Maybe Ms.Sherbert should once in a while check up on the accusers credibility as well, rather can accuse someone of assault and encourage character assassination!

Ben K.
Ben K.

Everyone knows the crazy chicks are great in the sack.

Michael DeRousselle
Michael DeRousselle

You cannot hypnotize anyone and have them do something they would not otherwise do.Hypnosis is a hoax. Just a bunch of woo.

Matt Gomes
Matt Gomes

Hypnosis is NOT a hoax (unless you want to argue with the APA and the AMA (amongst other professional medical organizations) who actually RECOMMEND the study and use of hypnosis). There ARE many misconceptions about hypnosis though (re this article: Noone can MAKE you do ANYTHING).

Lovingdesigns
Lovingdesigns

I hope karma will bite you in the arse for posting this before a judgement have been made. This is Fox news type of posting, it makes me sick!

rlp
rlp

OH GOD WHAT WILL THE WORLD DO WITHOUT ANOTHER MARRIAGE COUNSELOR HOW COULD YOU REPORT THIS RAPE DOESN'T REALLY HAPPEN

Shlock Meister
Shlock Meister

I hope this guy hypnotizes your pants off...err....sues. How are you going to feel when it comes out that he is innocent, but that you just ruined his professional career because you could not find anything else to blog about.

Rob
Rob

How come no one commented on the fact that Hypnotizing someone is a load of crap.  If they did have sex it was consensual - not because instead of asking her to clock like a chicken he asked her to choke his.  Sounds like someone found out they had sex and now she is claiming to be a victim.  This really degrades those that are really victimized. 

plf
plf

no one commented on it because no one's as bloated with misogyny as you. so it's fine for therapists to fuck their clients without consent so long as you think they probably really were cognizant? that's like saying date rape's fine if you use a placebo roofy. as in, what the fuck are you talking about?

SeanD
SeanD

I did not comment when this came up but I find my mind coming back to it again and again. Erin Sherbert, you should be ashamed of yourself. If you're going to publish this sort of career ending material (everything lives forever on Google) you should at least try to make a real effort to contact both parties in person. To say: "I tried calling him and he never called back" is investigation at its most lazy. Get off your fucking ass and do your job properly.

You have done real damage here and for what reason? To fill space? This undermines even the semblance of "innocent until proven guilty" but whatever, right? You're getting paid.

Violet
Violet

What you might not realize if you're not in this profession is that these claims are made all the time. If he's licensed this case will be reviewed by a board of ethics and very likely thrown out. It's not to say that there aren't therapists that do heinous things (and the public should be protected from them which is why there are licensing bodies and ethics boards) but it's pretty exceptional. What is commonplace is people with compromised perception getting very angry at therapists. It's called transference.

Unfortunately, another thing that seems to have become very commonplace is a lack of ethics in the media. It's pretty simple: if you run a story once there's evidence of it then you are serving the public by informing them. If you do it before then you display publicly that you are willing to harm others in order to get by. Thanks also for making good, ethical therapists everywhere more scared to do their jobs.

Breaking "snitch" news:Unethical writer/desperate editors don't stop at damaging people's careers to make stories!

Lindabgrace
Lindabgrace

You article is unethical and slanderous.  This is not "journalism" - this is a collection of unsubstantiated allegations and accusations. None of these have been demonstrated as factual; nor have any been proven in a court of law. Personally, reading your article breaks my heart - what you have done to Mr. Lindgren and his reputation is a despicable crime and is outragous.  Where is your conscience? How can you sleep at night?

Burns
Burns

This is like a Fox News article...lets start a witch hunt before all the actual facts are revealed. Who cares if there's no solid evidence yet...might as well start destroying the person's career early. Where did this "reporter" get her journalism degree from? A Crackerjack box? Totally unprofessional. I thought SF Weekly was reputable. Unless the police arrested him and found his semen in a rape kit...your article is equivalent to the gossipy girl in the office talking about what she heard "really" happened. Pathetic.

John Lumiere-Wins
John Lumiere-Wins

I find this article appalling; I have to question the journalist's ethics and integrity. As some of the other comment-ers have mentioned what is being reported here as news are allegations and accusations. None of these have been demonstrated as factual; nor have any been proven in a court of law. I can understand someone wanting to report a story, but in today's world, a story like this, with unproven, unsubstantiated allegations is effectively a character assassination. If the evidence supports the claims, then there is a story. However, you may have destroyed a man's career and reputation with no actual evidence. I believe you really need to think through the effects of your choice to write and publish this without any thing more than hearsay to back up the claims. And, I agree that you may end up being liable for slander, here.

Christopher
Christopher

Did you attempt to contact Mr. Lindgren before writing this article?  If so, what did he say?  If not, what the heck are you doing?

People make allegations against practitioners of all kinds all the time.  It is journalistically irresponsible to print the allegations of a lawsuit without any sort of investigation or attempt to contact the defendant.

I wonder if Mr. Lindgren will sue you.

Erin Sherbert
Erin Sherbert

@Christopher, Of course, I called Mr. Lindgren. It states that in the article. "Lindgren has not returned phone calls or e-mails from SF Weekly."

Shlock Meister
Shlock Meister

Sounds like you should start looking for a new job....

Christopher
Christopher

OK, I see now that you did call Mr. Lindgren.  My oversight.

This doesn't change the fact that you've done irreparable harm to Mr. Lindgren's personal and professional reputation by printing un-investiaged allegations against him.  

What if he's innocent?  He may clear his name in court, but his business is ruined.  Shouldn't you actually investigate such lurid, horrid stuff before printing it?

oaklandlady
oaklandlady

I am pretty sure lawyers would tell him not to talk to any media while they figure out their strategy so he might want to clear his name with SF weekly but is being advised to wait

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...