- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — A man fatally slashed a 56-year-old psychologist at her Upper East Side office clinic and seriously injured another therapist who tried to help her, police said.

Police said a meat cleaver was used in the Tuesday night attack on Kathryn Faughey, and another knife may have been used.

A manhunt was under way for the attacker, who police think may have been one of her patients.

Serious attacks by patients on their mental health providers are rare. “This is, I think, an extraordinary occurrence,” said Sharon Brennan, a psychologist in Manhattan and a spokeswoman for the New York State Psychological Association. “It has had a shocking impact on the whole New York community.”

The attack happened around 9 p.m., police said.

Alexandra Pike, who lives across the street, allowed a news photographer to shoot the scene from her family’s apartment and said she used his telephoto lens to look into the victim’s office.

“You could see there were shades torn down, there was overturned furniture. Papers were strewn all over, and you could see blood all over the place,” said Miss Pike, 20.

A male therapist who attempted to help Miss Faughey was slashed on the head, face and arms and was in serious condition at a hospital, police said. He was identified as Kent Shinbach.

Miss Faughey, a licensed psychologist, described herself on her Web site as a specialist in cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing thoughts that cause feelings or behaviors.

The American Psychiatric Association said that, in general, people with severe mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than be violent themselves.

Among the exceptions, a psychiatrist in Omaha, Neb., died of head injuries in August, several days after a patient with a grudge and a history of violence attacked him at a medical center.

“Safety is always a concern,” Miss Brennan said. Therapists are thoroughly trained in assessing a patient’s potential for violence, she said, and would normally see patients in a private setting only if they had determined that the risk was low.

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