Woman under investigation treated hundreds posing as psychologist in Stafford


STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A 42-year-old Spotsylvania woman treated hundreds of people as she posed as a psychologist working in Stafford County for years.  

Sharonda L. Avery was working at a Stafford County medical practice as a psychologist, the county’s Sheriff’s Office said, in October 2018 when multiple people reached out to complain that Avery had misdiagnosed them or their children. The victims, who were not only from the Stafford area, reportedly questioned the authenticity of Avery’s license to practice.  

An investigation revealed that Avery was not a licensed psychologist in Virginia and she had none of the degrees — two doctorates and a master’s degree — she claimed to have. In fact, the Sheriff’s Office learned that Avery had no degrees at all. Authorities said that Avery treated hundreds of children and adults at the facility since being employed in 2012. 

Avery was charged on May 6 with obtaining money by false pretenses, perjury, passing a forged document and practicing psychology without a license, the Sheriff’s Office said. She was fired from the facility, which ended up going out of business. 

An allegation that Avery claimed to be a doctor in 2017 during testimony in Stafford Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court led to her perjury charge.  

Stay here for updates to this developing story. 

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