Psych Crime Reporter

August 8, 2012

Disgraced criminal psychologist Vito Zepinic attempts to redefine response to life’s troubles as mental disorder

Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) recently received a press release with the title “New, Serious Psych Disorder, Its Nature and Treatment in Book”.  It was issued for psychologist Vito Zepinic’s new book, The Self and Complex Trauma.

“Complex Trauma,” says Zepinic “develops when the individual is subject to repeated traumas…and is incapable of escaping it for an extended period of time.”  Zepinic knows a lot about this from personal experience. He most likely made up this “new” disorder as a way to position himself as a mental health expert, since he is unable to obtain employment due to his own dishonesty (more on this later).

Dr. Zepinic says that this disorder is “serious”.  Of course, anyone who has ever gone through tough times–deaths of loved ones, reversals of fortune, broken releationships, disappointed expectations–knows how serious life feels during those times.

But that is not new and it’s certainly not a mental disorder.

Life can be traumatic. How you respond to that trauma is proof of your character but it’s not a mental disorder.

Life can also be full of satisfaction and even joy. CCHR suspects that Dr. Zepinic might be working on another book about a “new” disorder in people who are living quite happily. recently discovered the “new” syndrome of Compulsive Labeling Disorder. The sufferers of this “new, serious” disorder are uniformly mental health “professionals.”

About Zepinic:

Vitomir Zepinic left his native Yugoslavia in the mid-1990s for Australia, where he first registered as a psychologist in 1994. In May 1998, he applied to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) for assessment of his specialist qualifications in psychiatry. The AMC required him to fulfill a period of supervised clinical practice before being eligible to sit for his examination as a psychiatrist. In February 2000, Zepinic filed an application with the Queensland Medical Board for a conditional medical registration, which would allow him to fill a training position in psychiatry. He applied for and was granted a renewal of his conditional registration in May 2001 to continue specialist training as “Senior Medical Officer – Psychiatry.” However, in March 2001, the AMC advised the medical Board that Zepinic was not entitled to advanced standing in medicine/psychiatry as his post-graduate training was in the non-medical subject of psychotherapy.

The reason for the Australian authorities’ reassessment of Zepinic’s qualifications was acquisition of information from the institution in Yugoslavia from which Zepinic had graduated, which had not been available earlier due to the conflicts in Yugoslavia at the time. The Queensland Medical Board cancelled Zepinic’s registration on May 14 2002 noting that he did not have a “valid registrable undergraduate qualification in medicine.”

Zepinic had falsely claimed to have medical degrees from Sarajevo and Belgrade universities and had misled the Medical Boards of New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland, Australia. The Australian licensing authority’s Tribunal’s decision document lists 19 separate occasions between 1996 and 2009 when Zepinic misrepresented his qualifications to licensing boards/councils, prospective employers, a court of law and a publishing company, among others.

He was convicted August 18, 2008 on six counts of having misrepresented himself as a medical doctor. The Psychologists Tribunal of New South Wales subsequently banned Zepinic from practicing for five years. The decision was upheld on appeal on August 12, 2010. He may not reapply for licensure until August 2015.

On March 1, 2010, Zepinic resigned from his position as senior lecturer in psychiatry in the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (a position he obtained by misrepresenting his credentials) after school authorities confronted him about his 2008 criminal conviction.

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