Ablow continues counseling despite license suspension

Prominent psychiatrist was deemed 'immediate and serious threat' by state board

KEITH ABLOW, whose Massachusetts license to practice psychiatry was suspended last year by a state medical board that regarded him as “an immediate and serious threat to the public,” is continuing to counsel people out of his Ablow Center for Mind and Soul in Newburyport.

Ablow, who was once a commentator for Fox News and regularly made appearances on prominent TV programs, had his medical license suspended because he allegedly had sex with multiple patients, diverted controlled substances from patients, procured his license renewal fraudulently, and displayed and pointed a firearm on multiple occasions in a manner that scared an employee.

Ablow is appealing his license suspension, but in the meantime he is working as a counselor, a generic term that makes what Ablow is doing permissible in Massachusetts.

On one of his websites, where he lists himself as an M.D., Ablow says he helps people “overcome problems with anxiety, mood, self-esteem, concentration or communication . . . [and] survive and actually thrive during crises.”

On the Ablow Center website, he says he “combines elements of life coaching, mentoring, and pastoral (spiritual) counseling into a powerful healing system that helps people achieve optimal emotional well being and performance.”

In an email, Ablow indicated he saw nothing wrong with what he is doing.

“Life coaches, spiritual counselors and other practitioners routinely help people overcome problems with mood, anxiety and self-esteem,” he said. “I feel fortunate that people around the United States and in other nations continue to seek me out to provide such help, along with help clarifying and reaching their personal and professional goals. I look forward to offering these services, God willing, for many years to come.”

Ablow signed his email, “All good, Keith.”

Andrew Meyer, a Boston medical malpractice attorney, said there is an urgent need for something to be done to prevent a psychiatrist or psychologist whose license has been revoked or suspended from treating people under some other title.

“I think legislation to address this issue that allows these people to continue to practice is absolutely necessary,” Meyer said.  “Somebody like this is a potentially serious danger to society and this needs to be remedied.”

Meet the Author
George Zachos, the executive director of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, declined comment because of Ablow’s pending appeal at the Division of Administrative Law Appeals.

Three women who accused Ablow of sexual misconduct last year settled lawsuits against him for undisclosed sums. They alleged that Ablow lured them into degrading and humiliating sexual relationships while he was their psychiatrist.

“He began to hit me when we engaged in sexual activities,” one woman wrote in an affidavit.  She said Ablow would tell her “I own you” or “you are my slave.”