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Wednesday, November 12, 2014


In a complaint filed on November 3, 2014, Dr. Donald Hiebel, a psychologist and a major proponent of a controversial theory known as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), is accused of conducting an affair with a female client 30 years his junior. 

Dr. Donald Hiebel is affiliated with Roeder and Polansky Family and Child Associates located in Middletown, CT  and also has a private office in West Hartford. The client, designated as "Jane Doe" received psychotherapy from Dr. Donald Hiebel from January 21, 2013 until approximately July 9, 2013.

According to the Complaint, from January to July 2013, Dr. Donald Hiebel provided psychotherapy for Jane Doe in order to assist her in obtaining shared custody of her minor son and to help her with emotional and psychological problems.  Then in the summer and fall of 2013, Dr. Hiebel and his patient, Jane Doe, began to spend a considerable amount of time together.  Dr. Hiebel told Jane Doe that he intended to divorce his wife so he and the client could be together.  During that time they had several sexual encounters in Dr. Hiebel's West Hartford office, at Heibel's homes and also other locations. 

Further, according to the complaint, Dr. Donald Hiebel advised Jane Doe to break up with her boyfriend at the time who was paying for her apartment, her mental health fees, as well as her attorney fees.  Then Dr. Hiebel borrowed $5,000.00 from a friend and used that money to pay all of Jane Doe's living expenses.  This money was funneled through his company, Roeder and Polansky Family and Child Associates checking account and corporate credit card.  When Jane Doe considered having therapy with another mental health professional, Dr. Hiebel advised against it.

As a consequence of this alleged inappropriate sexual relationship, Jane Doe is claiming that she has suffered various damages including "shock, mistrust of medical professionals, extreme emotional disturbance, hospitalizations, instability, humiliation, emotional devastations, and extreme emotional disturbance."  She also ended up losing custody of her son.  As a result, she complains that she will be "forced to expend sums of money for additional custody litigation and medical care."

Even more shocking is that Dr. Donald Hiebel's business partner, Dr. Keith Roeder, was aware of this relationship and advised Jane Doe to hide relationship from the father of her child.  The Complaint alleges that Dr. Keith Roeder "advised Doe to show the child's father a former apartment rather than her current apartment that she shared with Hiebel."  Eventually, in January 2014, when Dr. Hiebel decided to return to his wife, Jane Doe became extremely upset and was eventually hospitalized. 

Dr. Donald Hiebel's wife, Navarre Hiebel, apparently filed for divorce in May 2014, but withdrew the complaint, possibly when it became clear that the affair was truly over.

A consultant hired to evaluate the case records regarding Dr. Donald Hiebel and Jane Doe provided an initial opinion that there "appeared to be multiple gross lapses of professional judgment and standards of care on the part of Dr. Donald Hiebel and his associate, Dr. Keith Roeder" in the conduct of psychotherapy with Jane Doe.  This includes on Dr. Hiebel's part a lack of proper documentation of Jane Doe's record, concealing the fact that Jane Doe had a history of substance abuse, as well as possibly filing fraudulent reports to the Court in regard to her custody matter.

Another troubling aspect of the relationship Jane Doe had with Dr. Donald Hiebel is that apparently Jane Doe assisted Dr. Hiebel in his practice typing his reports on other patients, noting down his voicemail messages, as well as other tasks.  In fact, during her meeting with the consultant, Jane Doe stated that "she still had a box of records from [Dr. Hiebel's] office in the trunk of her car--including the records of an individual who had sued Dr. Hiebel..." 

The Complaint also details a relationship Dr. Donald Hiebel maintained with another woman, a friend of Jane Doe's, and a former patient of Dr. Hiebel, who provided massages to Dr. Hiebel in exchange for coaching assistance in her custody matter.  The consultant report states that Dr. Donald Hiebel and this friend "vacationed together and spent some holidays together as well (Christmas)."

Jane Doe is currently being represented by Attorney Leslie Gold McPadden of Biller, Sachs, Raio & Zito in Hamden, CT  06518.  Clearly, Attorney McPadden has the strength of character and toughness required to take on this most difficult case.

Dr. Donald Hiebel is one of the most beloved, trusted, and highly respected psychologists in family court today.  In fact, when Jane Doe was advised to work with Dr. Hiebel, she was told that he "is like a God before the Court." Judges and attorneys have regularly requested Dr. Hiebel's services for co-parenting management as well as custody related mental health treatments and evaluations.  They have done this despite the fact that multiple family court litigants over the years have complained vociferously about his unprofessional behavior and incompetent treatment. 

Further, Despite the fact that many of these litigants have submitted formal complaints to the Department of Public Health, these complaints have been consistently ignored and summarily dismissed.  One can only speculate what harm and damage might have been avoided for many current and former clients of Dr. Hiebel had the Department of Public Health taken these complaints seriously. 

In this past year, a considerable group of family court litigants gathered together in a reform movement to fight the corruption and fraud they experienced in family court.  Reporters who then spoke to attorneys, GALs and Connecticut Judicial Branch representatives were told that the problem was that these litigants had mental health issues. 

This case of Dr. Donald Hiebel, which represents only the tip of the iceberg in regard to the complete lack of professional ethics among family court professionals, really forces us to raise the question:  When it comes to family court who really has the mental health issues?  Certainly not the mothers and fathers or children who have been the victims of these kinds of predators. 

I also think it is important to reflect on how the Family Court in Connecticut, let alone elsewhere, is understanding information provided by psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals.  These people are certainly well educated in the field of behavioral health, but they are by no means Gods, not a single one of them.  They themselves, if asked, and that is the crucial factor, i.e. that they ARE asked, will acknowledge that the field of mental health has many limitations and they have very little ability or qualifications to make definitive statements about the family court litigants they evaluate.  Until family court judges and attorneys fully grasp this fact, they will continue to harm many parents and children by subjecting them to  corrupt mental health professionals who arrogantly go well beyond their professional knowledge in making statements to the Court regarding these folks for which they have no basis in either fact or science.


  1. Another family court debacle involving forced vendors...let's hope the legislature gets busy this term to turn all this around for the parents and children in the State of Connecticut.

  2. I used to have this guy after my parents divorced when I was seven. I remember him being a very creepy and manipulative man. He used to scare me. PARENTS PLEASE DO NOT TAKE YOUR CHILDREN TO HIM!!!!

  3. Don Heibel was a 'therapist' for my ex during a custody case where he made recommendations to the court regarding custody/visitation and falsely accused me of alienation, without ever speaking to anyone except my ex. To this day, I don't know how that was accepted.

  4. Dr. Hiebel is an awful person to have involved in any custody case. He is rude and dismissive, will say one thing to you in a private session and completely reverse himself in group sessions and to top it off I suspect him of being involved with my ex and weighting our custody evaluation towards her for no legitimate reason. He refused to require my ex to provide any evidence or examples of accused wrong doing and he gave her complete control which forces me to be a pawn to my ex and it has impacted my child. He should go to jail!!

  5. That sounds very familiar. One of the named therapist is also involved in my custody case and I can confirm that private sessions are conducted in a very understanding manner and you think this therapist understands your childrens needs and concerns. But to the contrary, they overrun you in a session with your ex. The weaker link in the group is being exploited and there are no restrictions or rules set on how your ex-partner must behave during the session. Insults by your ex are tolerated and the ex can voice accusations free of having to proof it. Very frustrating and going to back to court certainly is as well.
    The system has not changed but is dearly in need of change. A terrible situation for everyone involved - especially the children!

    1. Hi, one of my clients has been appointed the other named therapist. She is being accused of "alienation" can you please contact me at It would be much appreciated. Lorrie Eubanks

  6. Dr. Heibel, is a predator. He uses his position to exploit the weak and vulnerable woman and young girls who are forced into sessions with him. He claims to be a "Doctor" but he's an evil manipulator. Good Lord, look at the long history of complaints against this creep. When will somebody, anybody do something about him?

  7. I was forced by court to go see this guy Heibel. He was arrogant and one sided to my ex all the time. Now I might know why. He always looked at clock and asked for payment after each session. I (Please) don’t walk but run from this so called person. I still can’t believe he has his license. All I can say is wow

  8. Wow! I was forced to see this Heibel too. Arrogant, one sided, and did not listen to one thing I said . Always looking at clock and asked for payment after every session he seemed more interested in my ex then anything else, now I might understand why, don’t walk but run from this creep ( in my opinion) he actually wanted me to lie to my children. And told me the lies to say . And this guy still holds a license....... incredibly crazy

  9. To all of the above complaints, I’m sorry and I too had to deal with this creep. We live in a crazy place where this guy can still hold a license . (We) know him for exactly what he is !!!