Sunday, May 19, 2002

Case of Michael Lytton

Case of Michael Lytton
(AKA: Michael R. Lytton)
Ilford, England
Essex, England
Fake Doctorate from Toronto University

Michael Lytton was sentenced to six years in prison back in 2003 for physically and sexually assaulting women who came to see him for psychological helpAt the time Lytton claimed to have a doctorate in clinical psychology from Toronto University.

Lytton was no stranger to the law.  In the past he had previously posed as a policeman to evade Tube fares and even tried to avoid paying a parking fine by posing as a doctor.

Back in 2003, the police fear there may be many more female victims who have never been traced or did not want to come forward.

According to records, Lytton would have been released from prison in 2009 or 2010.  He should be seen as a danger to unsuspecting women.

If anyone has any more information about him along with a photograph of him, please forward it to The Awareness Center. 

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Table of Contents: 

  1. OM: LIFE: HEALTH: Brief encounters: The talking cure of choice for the NHS is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy - it's quick and cheap. But, asks Michele Kirsch , is it selling patients short? (05/19/2002)


  1. Patient 'raped' by bogus therapist (09/09/2003)
  2. I'll strip to deny rape (09/10/2003)
  3. Pervert Jailed (10/2/2003)

OM: LIFE: HEALTH: Brief encounters: The talking cure of choice for the NHS is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy - it's quick and cheap. But, asks Michele Kirsch , is it selling patients short?
Michele Kirsch - May 19, 2002 

If the NHS were to advertise its outpatient psychological treatments, they'd probably say, 'It's good to talk. But not for too long.' Long waiting lists, budget restrictions and a shortage of qualified staff mean that talking therapies tend to be short-term. But there is a fine line between 'short-term' and 'not really finished', and an increasing number of patients seem to be crossing it. That is, the therapy comes to an end before the patient is feeling better. 

The short-term talking therapy of choice on the NHS is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which appeals to doctors and patients alike for its relative brevity and wide application to a variety of mental health problems. Publications by the Department of Health and the Mental Health National Service Framework plug it as the first line of treatment for depression, anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia, post traumatic stress disorder, bulimia, chronic fatigue, obsessive compulsive disorder and deliberate self harm. 

Which is fine - CBT is also the form of therapy with the most academic studies to show that, when carried out properly, treatment success rates can be as high as 90 per cent. But in these clinically controlled trials, the CBT went on for longer than is usually on offer in primary care. Typically, on the NHS, a patient is offered six to eight sessions, but in these clinically controlled cases patients had had between eight and 20 sessions. Professor David Clark, head of psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, says that addressing panic disorder usually takes about 12 sessions, social phobia 16 sessions and post traumatic stress, eight to 12 sessions. These recommendations are not set in stone, and some people will feel better sooner rather than later, but even a psychologically illiterate layman can grasp the idea that a person with a problem that has been years in the making may not recover after just six treatments. 

The basic idea behind CBT is that thoughts or cognitions lead to feelings and actions, and that if those thoughts are negative, the feelings will be bad. 

The therapy teaches the patient to recognise and change those negative thought patterns. Hamlet grasped the CBT philosophy when he said, 'Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,' but he was still a very depressed guy. This illustrates the trouble with CBT that doesn't go on long enough for the patient - he might get the principle, but he doesn't get enough sessions to turn the theory into action. 

Forty-year-old mother of three (NAME REMOVED) has suffered from depression on and off since 1988. She traces her illness back to abuse she endured as a child. 'A few years ago, I was offered six sessions of CBT on the NHS. The sessions were one-hour long and it usually took me about 40 minutes before I felt comfortable enough to really open up. At the sixth session, they reviewed my case and I was offered another four sessions. At the end of that, the psychologist told me he didn't think there was anything else I could gain from the therapy. He implied that I was becoming dependent on the sessions, and the point of CBT is to help you help yourself. But all that had happened by that stage is that I had worked out what the problem was. I didn't know how to fix it. It's like when you try to mend something and you take it apart, but then can't put it together again. That's how I felt.' 

This sentiment is validated by clinical psychologist Michael Lytton, who works both privately and for the NHS and is also senior clinician at the National Phobics Society (NPS), a charity that helps people with phobias. In this capacity, he has seen many patients who have > < been left hanging by too-brief CBT. 'If the therapy has to end before the patient is seeing signs of getting better, they could be left feeling more vulnerable than when they started, because their emotions have been stirred up. If the patient needs 20 sessions but the practise isn't funded to that level, they have to throw them out early. It is not written down anywhere, but it is implied. They have to get through the waiting lists. But for many patients, six to eight sessions are not enough.' 

Nicky Lidbetter, manager of the NPS, says that it is often left to the mental health charities to pick up where the NHS left off. 'We are contacted daily by people who have had a course of CBT on the NHS and have found that they are only just starting to get some little benefit when the therapy has to end.' 

When (NAME REMOVED) moved a few years after her initial treatment, she found herself in a local health authority that provided an intensive and ultimately effective form of CBT. 'I went three times a week for group CBT. At the assessment, I brought up that my first treatment had ended prematurely, and they reassured me that this time the CBT would only end when we both felt I was ready.' She also found the quality of treatment superior. One of the most important aspects of CBT is that the patient has to do 'homework' between sessions, to keep a diary of the kind of thoughts or cognitions that lead to the bad feelings, and on the behavioural side, to go into the kind of situations that they find challenging. Having not been given any homework between sessions in her first lot of CBT, with her second lot, 'there was lots of homework and handouts to read between sessions, and being in a group setting made me feel less alone, that there were lots of us going through the same type of thing. For me, the group worked much better than one to one, though I had a key worker I could talk to about things I didn't feel comfortable bringing up in the group. I went for three and a half months, and I can honestly say it has changed my whole outlook on life.' 

(NAME REMOVED) was lucky enough to eventually get the treatment she needed. But what options are really available to those who feel that their CBT ended before they could really get a handle on it? One route, though requiring great self-motivation on the part of the patient, is self- directed CBT, either through CD roms or self-help books. One CD rom available through the Mental Health Foundation is called Restoring the Balance , and is designed to help people with mild to moderate anxiety or depression. It uses CBT principles and, though it is no substitute for clinical treatment, can be a good top- up for people who feel that they haven't quite finished what they started. The best consumer-friendly CBT-based books are a series put out by Constable & Robinson, including Overcoming Panic , Overcoming Traumatic Stress , Overcoming Depression and Overcoming Low Self- Esteem . All are written by practising cognitive behavioural psychologists, and all are very thorough. 

The mental health charities and support groups are good, not only for helping people who feel they have not had enough treatment, but also as a lifeline for those who can't access treatment in the first place, or are in waiting-list purgatory. The National Phobics Society offers both CBT (by trained clinical psychologists who donate their time) and hypnotherapy at greatly reduced rates (typically pounds 7.50 for the unemployed, pounds 15 for employed, but more if you are a high earner) as well as offering telephone sessions addressing specific phobias and a counselling service for the housebound. 

The Depression Alliance has a network of self-help groups, some of which use CBT principles as a framework for group activities. 

If money isn't an issue, and CBT still seems the right thing to do, The British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies has a register of private practitioners. Fees can be as much as pounds 150 an hour (though usually more in the region of pounds 60), but the very nature of CBT means it won't go on forever. 

Finally it should be noted, as a leaflet issued by MIND says, that CBT is not a miracle cure. Of course, the therapist has to have expertise, but the patient, says MIND, 'must be prepared to be persistent, open and brave. Not everyone will benefit, at least not to full recovery in a short space of time. It's unrealistic to expect too much.' OM 

Restoring the Balance is available from the Mental Health Foundation (020 7802 0304) for pounds 25, plus p Constable & Robinson books cost pounds 7.99 each, plus p&p, from distributors TBS (01206 255 800), or at major bookstores; publications from MIND can be ordered by calling 020 8519 2122; The National Phobics Society can be contacted on 0870 770 0456; The Depression Alliance on 020 7633 0557; and The British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies on 01254 875 277


Patient 'raped' by bogus therapist
The Times (London)  - September 9, 2003

A BOGUS psychologist raped a vulnerable patient after using hypnotism to programme her to accept his advances, a jury was told yesterday. 

Michael Lytton began "therapy" sessions with hugs and French kissing after assuring the woman that it would help to treat her sexual insecurities, Snaresbrook Crown Court was told. 

Louise Kamill, for the prosecution, said that Mr Lytton, 53, had admitted lying about having a doctorate in clinical psychology from Toronto University and had used it to help him to get work advising solicitors and insurance firms on clients' mental state after accidents, and for private practice. Miss Kamill said Mr Lytton targeted two women from Essex who were "vulnerable and needing assistance" after they were involved in car crashes. 

Mr Lytton denies single charges of raping, physically assaulting and indecently assaulting a 26-year-old patient and indecently assaulting a 30-year-old woman. 

Miss Kamill said the younger patient contacted Mr Lytton after seeing his advertisement in the Yellow Pages. During 25 sessions he had made her dependent on him. "Mr Lytton encouraged her to be physical towards him. They greeted each other at the door with a hug that grew into kisses and towards the latter stages French kissing. It's all part of the procedure of grooming her to be vulnerable to him." 

Then, "utterly programmed by him", they had gone to the bedroom together. "He undressed her and invited her to have a sensual body massage. He massaged her and once he reached her face she became wholly hazy about what was going on." It was then, Miss Kamill said, that Mr Lytton raped her. 

Miss Kamill said Mr Lytton had conducted an internal examination on the second woman, who had lost the baby she was carrying after a car crash in 2001. The trial continues.


I'll strip to deny rape
Daily Mirror - September 10, 2003

A DOCTOR accused of hypnotising a patient and raping her offered to drop his trousers in court yesterday to prove his innocence. 

The woman claimed she saw scars on psychologist Michael Lytton's body. 

But he told Snaresbrook crown court in London: "I am more than willing to drop my trousers here if that will help." 

The judge said: "There are ways we can deal with that without doing anything of the sort."
Lytton, 53, of Ilford, Essex, denies rape, indecently assaulting a second woman and actual bodily harm. The trial continues.


Pervert Jailed - October 2, 2003

A "perverted" conman from Ilford who posed as a psychologist and hypnotised a female patient before indecently assaulting her has been jailed for six years.

Michael Lytton, 57, who claimed to have a doctorate in clinical psychology, lured women to his flat before carrying out bizarre sexual assaults on them.

He indecently assaulted one 27-year-old woman after putting her under hypnosis and carried out a smear test on another even though he had no medical qualifications.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also accused him of raping her while she was under his spell.

As the verdicts were read out at Snaresbrook crown court, Lytton, from Royston Gardens in Ilford, hung his head in his hands as his family and partner, who attended everyday of the three week trial, gasped in horror.

The jury did not know that he had already pleaded guilty to five counts of obtaining property by deception and five counts of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception.

He had also earlier pleaded guilty to one count of common assault on another female patient. He used a stethospcope to examine the woman while her husband waited in the room downstairs.

The jury was also unaware that he had also pleaded guilty to one count of battery on another female patient in her mid 20s on whom he carried out a blood pressure test even though he had no reason or qualification to do so.

It was also revealed that he had previously posed as a policeman to evade Tube fares and even tried to avoid paying a parking fine by posing as a doctor. And police fear there may be many more female victims who have never been traced or did not want to come forward.

Sentencing Lytton to six years in jail, Judge David Richardson said that the precise motive for the attacks may never be known, but added: "I am sure that grandiosity may be part if it, and I suspect that sexual motivation may be part of it too."

Earlier the court heard how Lytton duped his patients into believing he was a fully-qualified doctor.

Louise Kamill, prosecuting, said: "These women went to him needing assistance. They thought they were being treated by him and took advice from him believing he was a genuine doctor."

Detective sergeant Roy Udall, who led the investigation, said: "This man is a pervert who conned women into thinking he was a bone fide doctor for his own sexual gratification.

I believe that there may be many more women out their who have suffered at his hands. This could be a whole can of worms waiting to open up."


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