I’ve lost count, but I’ve posted this recounting of my experiences with Karen Mazzara multiple times on the Google review page for Riverside Counseling Center. It’s been deleted countless times, although the current comment has been left up. Although both Dr. Hall and Ms. Mazzara accuse me of lying and demean me. They’ve apparently done the same to others who’ve complained. If you’ve found this page, it’s likely relevant to you. In any event, I share it for two reasons. First, it helps me to be able to tell my story, despite Ms. Mazzara’s and Dr. Hall’s invalidating and uncaring treatment. Also, so that others might know of my experience — you can make your own judgement as to its veracity or relevance. Regardless, I stand by my story, which follows.
Riverside Counseling Center cannot be trusted to provide a safe and caring environment for mental health treatment, and should be avoided. I have posted these comments multiple times – because there appears to be a concerted effort to delete those comments, and those of others who are also critical of their behavior. They’ve refused to speak with me. They’ve been uncooperative with other therapists who’ve reached out to try and understand what happened that could have left me so traumatized. They’ve ignored every effort I’ve made to try and resolve this painful incident — other than further insulting me, insinuating I’m perhaps delusional, or demeaning me in other ways. They accuse me of lying. You step up to the edge of slander and violation of the ethics you purport to hold dear.
I stand by my description of their terminations, and the impact they have had on me. At this point, after years of struggling, I don’t expect any sort of apology or even recognition or acknowledgement of what they said, and did. I hope they’ll somehow find the compassion they seem to lack, and an understanding of the impact your actions can have on the well-being of those who you would claim to treat.
I was a patient at Riverside Counseling Center for several years, initially treated by Dr. Donald Hall. When the medications he prescribed failed to control my depression, and I experienced an emotional crisis following the suicide of a friend, Dr. Hall referred me to Ms. Karen Mazzara, LPC for therapy. I then also became a patient of Ms. Mazzara’s, and worked with her for 2.5 years.
Literally in the middle of a session, about 20 minutes after we had begun, while I was attempting to explain something, Ms. Mazzara angrily interrupted me and brusquely informed me she was terminating her treatment effective immediately. Although she later said she had been considering ending her care “for a long time,” she had made no preparations for the transfer of my care to another therapist. She made no such recommendation for a period of weeks, and when she did so it was to an individual to whom she should have known would be a poor match. She was pointedly unavailable to meet to discuss the termination and transfer of care, and refused to meet with me despite having time available on her schedule. I felt, and still feel, completely abandoned.
I reacted to her abrupt and unprofessional termination with immediate and great distress. I literally begged her, repeatedly, not to end the relationship. Ms. Mazzara responded with insincere platitudes. When those meaningless words failed to calm me, she mocked me, asking me if I “thought therapy would last forever.” The distress caused by Ms. Mazzara’s rejection, and her apparent anger and frustration, left me deeply traumatized and depressed. I struggle with that rejection and abandonment to this day.
I can appreciate Ms. Mazzara felt she could no longer assist me and desired to end the relationship. I respect and understand those wishes. What I cannot understand, and people should understand, is the cruel, callous, and remarkably unprofessional manner she chose to implement her decision. Dr. Hall’s response was equally unhelpful and added to my distress by refusing to attempt any mediation that might have eased my distress at being rejected, and implying my version of events couldn’t be trusted because it was my word against Ms. Mazzara’s.
She cannot be trusted. No one associated with Riverside should be trusted to provide a safe and caring environment in which to seek therapy. I trusted Ms. Mazzara and Dr. Hall to provide a safe and caring environment for my care. In my opinion, they failed utterly and completely and don’t seem to care about the damage they inflicted to me and my family.