Elizabeth R. on Yellow Pages
4 years ago
07/25/2017, 05:31 AM
I am writing the first of two reviews that include two therapists from this practice. The first, Christy Leaver, answered my phone message requesting marriage counseling in early 2014. My marriage was in crisis and I was vulnerable and desperate. I made an appointment with Ms. Leaver. My husband and I showed up together, sat down with this woman, and laid out our problems to her. We spent maybe 20 minutes explaining to her the issues we desperately needed help with.
Ms. Leaver then proceeded to explain to us that she doesn't actually offer marriage counseling. She offers only "couples' encounters," which as far as we could tell, involved us coming in for one whole day and sitting in her office with her while she guided us on some kind of hours-long therapy session, for several hundred dollars. We then paid for the hour of "therapy" that had really been a sales pitch for a kind of help that really didn't match our situation. We did not make an "encounter" appointment with her.
In the midst of our marriage breaking down, my husband and I were disoriented and confused and functioning at a very low level. we did not realize that we had been defrauded of our money until many months afterwards.
The copy on Ms. Leaver's page on http://www.bluegrassfamilytherapy.com/ChristyLeaverLCSW.en.html mentions nothing of the sort of one-time "encounter" she offered. It lead us to believe she offered what I consider to be normal couples' counseling, on an ongoing regular basis. She does not do this kind of counseling at all. My husband and I wasted our money due to her deceitful action of not being up front about her form of therapy.
I wish I could give 0 stars.
Valerie Areaux, also in this location, became our regular marriage counselor for approximately a year. She was pleasant and personable, and for many months we kept making appointments with her, believing the counseling was helping. However, over time it became clear to both my husband and me that Valerie had settled into favoring or siding with my husband on most every issue we broached in therapy. This caused marriage counseling to become yet another stress on our marriage.
For many months of therapy, we had tried to follow her advice and instructions. We read the books she recommended. As I waited patiently and anxiously for it to be "my turn" to voice my side of the issues, it became clearer that she had much more respect and concern for my spouse's point of view than mine. This may be due to the fact that I am much more likely to cry and get angry when I feel distressed or triggered while discussing an issue, while my husband is the opposite.
This seems outrageously unfair. I feel that if a client cannot be accepted when she becomes overtly emotional and cries in session, that that therapist is too conflict-avoidant to be offering services to anyone in search of mental health help. I concluded that Ms. Areaux cares more about _feeling_ like she is doing a good job, than actually doing a good job. After the first several weeks of therapy, she routinely became harsh and disapproving any time we expressed unpleasant emotions in session, such as sorrow, anger, pain, indignation, frustration, you name it.
I believe that Ms. Areaux did more harm than good for our marriage. The almost $6,000 we spent on her definitely was not worth it.
In our final session, Ms. Areaux kicked us out of her office. she reacted extremely unprofessionally to my assertion that I felt invalidated by her responses to me. She jumped up and gave us a list of 3 other marriage counselors.
Again, I wish zero stars were an option.