Former sexologist Louise Sigouin pleads guilty before the Disciplinary Board

Former sexologist Louise Sigouin pleads guilty before the Disciplinary Board

Former Si on s’aimer star sexologist Louise Sigouin pleaded guilty to all charges against her during a hearing before the Disciplinary Committee of the Order of Quebec Sexologists Tuesday morning. The two parties agreed to submit a joint proposal for a sanction, namely a suspension of up to 6 months, a fine of US$14,000 and the payment of expert’s fees, specifically about US$21,000.

In the spring of 2022, after more than two years of investigation by the General Counsel of the Professional Code, Louise Sigouin faced two complaints filed against her, who had access to all recordings of the show, including segments never aired.

“I was very surprised to find that all the consultations filmed between Louise Sigouin and the 28 candidates were entered and consulted by the Order [des sexologues] in the context of this investigation. It is a colossal visual work that lasts several hundred hours. I feel that the Order has done a rigorous and thorough job on this file. I find it reassuring to know that the public is so protected,” explained Duty Jean-Philippe Caron, a former If We Loved Each Other season 1 contestant who was present during the hearing.

In April 2022, Le Devoir had collected the testimonies of four contestants on the reality show If We Loved Us who believed Louise Sigouin had failed in her ethical obligations to make “good television.”

Louise Sigouin pleads guilty to the seven counts that were the focus of an initial complaint filed by the order for all 28 contestants in the three seasons of Si on s’aimer and aired on VAT’s airwaves.

Louise Sigouin in particular is accused of “failing to respect her professional independence and of engaging in a conflict of interest” and “of having exercised the profession in a manner likely to undermine the latter’s honor and dignity, which is also likely to be the case breaking the public’s trust in her”. Ms Sigouin also acknowledges that she has not respected the principle of the “free and informed consent of her clients” and “has not ensured that their consent remains free and informed throughout the professional relationship”. .

She also violated the ethical rules of the sexologist profession regarding the secrecy of confidential information. He was accused of failing to recognize his clients’ right to withdraw their consent to disclosure of confidential information about them at any time, failing to obtain prior written authorization in person to use subsequent information in the course of an interview, or of an activity, but also for the fact that the deadlines for revoking the authorization and destroying the records are not provided for,” specifies the lawyer for the in-house counsel, Me Véronique Brouillette.

The Order of Quebec Sexologists also criticizes Ms Sigouin for failing to respect her civil liability by never reading her clients’ contracts with the production when they waived their recourse against the former sexologist.

The ex-sex therapist also pleaded guilty to “failing to show loyalty to four clients” and “failing to have sufficient knowledge and understanding by not clearly identifying reasons for counseling or client needs.”

There is no information in the client files of When We Love Each Other 1, 2, and 3 about the development of an assessment to create an intervention plan according to clients’ specific needs. The defendant explained that the assessment essentially took place during the selection of the candidates. “I’m looking a little bit at the potential they have to take the approach, it’s always a little bit the same,” reads the document jointly submitted by the two parties and read during the hearing.

“According to expert opinion, this does not correspond to what is expected from a professional assessment. […] The defendant did not create a specific intervention plan for each of the customers, but a predetermined intervention plan according to the needs of the production.

Guilty on a second complaint

Louise Sigouin has also pleaded guilty to a second complaint filed against her, to three counts, specifically involving three of her reality TV-related clients.

The Ordre des sexologues du Québec criticizes him for not trying to establish and maintain a relationship of mutual trust with them and for violating the rules of the art and the standards for “the quality of the relationship built with clients, the quality of the interventions with them and the relationship to them”.

As part of the investigation conducted by the trustee, Ms Sigouin also admitted to wearing a headset unbeknownst to her clients. The production could thus descend on the set and ask questions of the ex-sexual therapist’s clients, directly or through the headset, according to the syndic’s investigation. The joint agreement submitted by the two parties to the Disciplinary Board states that “the defendant has failed to inform its clients that it has a conflict of interest”.

The President of the Disciplinary Committee raised concerns about the joint sanctions proposal presented during the hearing. “Are there other seasons? Will the public understand that Ms. Sigouin is not a member of the Order? she wondered, reminding herself that a 6-month suspension would only be theoretical, since – at her request – she had not been registered there since May 2022. Louise Sigouin’s attorney, Me Nicholas St-Jacques, clarified during the hearing that his client does not intend to rejoin the Ordre des sexologues du Quebec.

The Disciplinary Board has 90 days to make its decision.

Louise Sigouin, who was present at the hearing, declined to comment. For its part, TVA, the broadcaster of If We Love Us, did not respond to our interview request.

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