Jan Marie Alarcon, PHD

Name:Jan Marie Alarcon
Review:1 client review
Location:10333 El Camino Real
Atascadero, CA 93423
Phone: 805-468-2000
Fax: 805-466-6011

Client Review:

1 client review of Jan Marie Alarcon scored 1 out of 5.

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by Totoist, Mar. 27, 2011

This review is based on observations of Dr. Alarcon at Atascadero State Hospital from 2003 to 2005.  

Although Dr. Alarcon seemed dedicated to providing therapy, patients discovered that she was also quick to dole out punishment – sometimes based only on the slightest suspicions.  Perhaps this latter behavior arose from a fear of many patients, as evidenced by her rather bizarre (and legendary) statement to a group of sex offenders: “I feel like you’re raping me with your eyes.”  Indeed, on occasion during various meetings, Dr. Alarcon, to the puzzlement of both employees and patients, quite unexpectedly lapsed into a kind of deer-in-the-headlights shock and bolted from the room.  

One time, a patient reported that while he was talking amicably with two female hospital police officers, Dr. Alarcon approached and stared at him with what many refer to as her “owl look.”   That is, a familiar wide-eyed look of suspicion that usually meant trouble.  Sure enough, Dr. Alarcon later accused the patient of insulting the police officers.  One of the officers, who was well-known as a lady who did not suffer insults, later said no such thing happened.  But Dr. Alarcon refused to listen to her.  

On another occasion, the entire hospital was locked down when Dr. Alarcon could not locate that same patient – whose whereabouts had been misinterpreted by an employee who later admitted his mistake.  But Dr. Alarcon refused to acknowledge staff error and blamed the lockdown on the patient.  

The men of Atascadero State Hospital thus learned to tread lightly when approaching Dr. Alarcon’s imposing presence (which exceeded 400 pounds).  Indeed, patients were warned by their peers not to even look her in the eye for more than a second or two.   Or  raise their voices, lest Dr. Alarcon push her personal electronic alarm button.  As a result, her effectiveness as a therapist was compromised.   

In fact, considering her morbid obesity, unreasonable suspicions and fears – all classic signs of abuse – Dr. Alarcon often became, in lieu of a trusted therapist, a subject of much speculation regarding her background and what had happened to her.  But this controversial doctor – who also lashed out at fellow employees – could be friendly and even dispense useful advice.  For example, one patient – often at odds with Dr. Alarcon – said that he always remembered her words regarding tolerance.  That is, she once pointed out that patients might not have much difficulty in adjusting to society under comfortable circumstances, but that, “If you don’t want to spend the rest of your life in prison, you have to maintain abstinence [good behavior] on your worst day.”  

One would hope, however, that Dr. Alarcon – a former nun – would take heed of the words in Luke 4:23, “Physician, heal thyself.”                        

* this reviewer has be with this therapist for 1 - 3 years
* this reviewer had 3 - 5 therapists before.
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