A local psychologist has voluntarily given up his license to practice in Utah after admitting to "unprofessional conduct" in a relationship with a former client.

According to information provided by the state's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, Steven Renfeldt, who practiced at the now closed Salt Lake City office of MCC Behavioral Care, agreed in late May to surrender his license and not apply to get it back for at least three years.The division's petition said that, between August 1993 and August 1994, Renfeldt provided marriage counseling and treatment for co-dependency to a woman, whose name was withheld for confidentiality purposes.

In December 1994, the petition said, Renfeldt started a social relationship with the woman. It developed into an "intimate sexual relationship" by the end of December, the petition said, and sexual contact continued until January 1996.

Renfeldt did not respond to several phone messages seeking comment on the case.

The division said it sought action against Renfeldt because his activities broke the Ethical Principles of Psychologists, as adopted by the American Psychological Association. Part of that code says a psychologist should not become sexually involved with a former patient for at least two years after services to that client end.

J. Craig Jackson, DOPL director, said the division deals with about one case like this each year.

"It's fairly rare, but it does happen," he said.