Archive for November, 2009

Review sites

November 23, 2009

Yelp, Citysearch, Google Maps, Insiderpages, merchantcircle,,,,,

Know any others? Please leave a comment.


Dr Wexler and Marianne Ault-Riche

November 23, 2009

Dr Wexler was first recommended by Jill, a friend. He had good reviews and was suppose to treat ‘difficult patients’. His office recommended, for marriage and family therapy, Marianne Ault-Riche. Dr Wexler’s schedule is booked in advance, and I was able to get an appointment more than a month out, around March 24, 2009. In the meantime we started going to Ault-Riche, who talked of Wexler as a ‘magician’ with the psychopharmacological agents.

Below are my Yelp reviews of both Wexler and Ault-Riche.


A useless doctor for an exorbitant price: $1500 for an initial two-hour visit, $250 for 30-min follow-ups. He could not even conduct the initial assessment interview properly – towards the end of the two-hour session he did not know key facts of my history. He engaged in socializing wasting valuable time. He also did not prescribe well for me – I had akathisia, a horrible reaction to a medication, and he was giving me semi-effective band-aids in the form of additional medications, whereas I needed to be switched to another medication (which was later done by a less expensive doctor) to get rid of akathisia. So you are paying for a posh office in Portola Valley, for a cute doggie that enters the examination room whenever it wishes (and diverts the attention of the doctor), and for feeding the huge ego of the doctor. Not worth it, let me tell you. If you are interested in a detailed account, contact me.


She is full of herself, she constantly brags about her experience, of many years ago, at Menninger Clinic and with Harriet Lerner. She also brags about her rich clients, She is insensitive to say the least, she pushes her own agenda without warning you – grossly unprofessional. She made a critical mistake in our case and refused to admit it. I very much wish I never saw her. If you value your relationship, find another couples therapist.

Who is at fault?

November 23, 2009

Is it all my fault? Is it that I did not present myself and my situation correctly? Is it that I did not say what needed to be said, I was passive where action was called for? Or they – they did not ask the right questions, they were incompetent, they were driven by the demands of their egos, they had their own agendas, they did not react appropriately to how I was presenting?

I now think – both. It is not all my fault. I told Dr Brafman that my family life was at peril, and he did nothing to help me steer clear of trouble, did nothing to help me appreciate my family and avoid losing it. I presented to Dr Bienenstock in full blown mania, and he did not call for a family meeting, did not adjust my medication. I told Dr Richmond that I needed a practitioner who would be on board with the whole family, understanding the plight of Fyodor, and he later tried to squeeze Fyodor out of therapy sessions, and harbored aggression towards Fyodor. I did nothing to provoke Helene Brun’s statement that going to a hospital is akin to going to a hotel – statement that almost cost me my life. I did not cause Dr Wexler’s going off the structured path in my 2-hour assessment. It’s not all my fault.

The question looms large: am I at fault for going to these doctors and staying with them?

Rom Brafman

November 21, 2009

I interviewed Rom Brafman, another PhD psychologist I encountered in my long and unfortunate immersion in American psychotherapy, after I learned about him from the announcements of the book he co-authored with his brother, “Sway: the irresistible pull of irrational behavior”. I thought that I was given to irrational behavior and therefore the guy was just the recipe for my troubles. I never read the book. Now I wish I read the book instead, and never ever met the guy in his office. The reviews seem to be good. He may be a good author, he definitely is a nice guy, but he is a terrible therapist. He contributed a great deal to the demise of my marriage and family, and through it, to the miserable state in which I find myself now. He could have, and did not, prevented my suicide attempt. If only all those people reading, and writing, positive reviews of Sway, knew what a crummy inexperienced little nothing Rom is in the office.

Here is a short review I posted on yelp:

“Criminal naivete. He is a nice guy but a terrible psychologist. Run as fast as you can from him because his naivete and lack of experience can prove very dangerous – they did for me. He was completely clueless when it came to my diagnosis and treatment. He gave me the diagnosis of adjustment disorder not otherwise specified (it means some problems, stress in the last three months, just enough to bill insurance) whereas I have serious long-standing issues. His whole therapy consisted of listening to me and making some remarks that he intended to boost self-esteem. That was it. This was worse than no therapy at all, and I was at a juncture in my life where I needed serious help, so the consequences of going to Brafman were severe. He also missed me going into a manic episode, and that had very bad (and preventable!), consequences. I wish I never encountered him. Stay away!”

Bruce Bienenstock

November 21, 2009

Bruce Bienenstock treated me from October 2006 through January 2009. This is a short review I posted to Yelp:


A very strong anti-recommendation. He severely underdiagnosed me and consequently undertreated me with medications which almost led to a tragedy. He also offered to be a therapist and in this role he also did not diagnose me, he did not invite family members where it would have been appropriate and helpful, he wanted to have an emotional relationship with me which was grossly unprofessional. The list goes on – a complete NO. I saw him for two years not realizing that he was harming, not helping me. Write to me for a detailed account if you would like.

Reviews on yelp, healthgrades, etc.

November 21, 2009

I will start with simply introducing my former doctors with the negative reviews I have already submitted to major review sites. If you know of other review sites that I have not covered, please let me know and I’ll utilize them immediately.

Who am I?

November 21, 2009

I am a very unhappy woman. I suffered at the hands of incompetent psychotherapists and I am here to spread the negative word about them.