How did this go from DBT to The Secret?!

Justmehere

Sponsor
A very respected hospital's DBT IOP program had a spot open up. I was on their waitlist. I said okay... very nervously... as it seemed super well organized. I was told DBT is what is used. Talked to therapist. Seemed really put together. Homework to do and everything. Nothing said about anything spiritual. I even reviewed the very plain and ordinary DBT workbook they created and use. Nothing in it about manifesting or spirituality or becoming one with nothingness or watching SoulSunday teachings on spirituality.

I said ok, signed the paperwork, and I received an email of the first assignment the group is doing in prep for Monday.

The homework is two Buddhist mystic yogi videos that go deep into the spirituality of suffering from that perspective, and nothing about DBT skills. Nothing. None of it matches with the workbook topics. Or DBT subjects. The homework also includes journal entries on "manifesting" and "manifesting your worthiness." One of the journal entries is supposed to be about what you will manifest in your life this weekend... It's all stuff straight from SoulSunday and The Secret. As in the links 59 the videos go to those websites. (The Secret is basically the idea you create your reality with your thoughts. It's not CBT, but something very different.)

Nothing about or acting a single DBT skill. Not even the usual DBT diary cards.

While this is stuff that many people enjoy and celebrate snd is perfect for a spiritual retreat... I'm not into it... and I really didn't want to dive head long into spiritual stuff of any type at all in any way... and I'm not into The Secret and "manifesting" things. If that's what you do, that's cool, it's just not for me personally. I believe in something else spiritually.

The crux of the issue is that I signed up for a common therapy technique not a spiritual teaching/practice group of ANY type.

I signed up to do DBT skills.

*I haven't yet attended any of the groups.* All I have is 1 homework in prep for my first group Monday. We are supposed to be ready to answer the manifesting questions in group Monday. I already know I can't do this homework. I don't believe in this at all, not do I wish to discuss that I don't believe in it. I wanted to do DBT.

Should I quit now before I get any further into this? Or go on Monday and just explain I watched the videos and I can't answer the questions because my personal spiritual beliefs are different and then see how to group goes? Then see if they actually do any DBT or if it's all just this stuff... if this spiritual stuff was 5-10% of the group, I can just skip this part of it and focus on the 90 percent that is actually DBT. But if the group mirrors this homework, then I would for sure have to quit Monday. Awkward.

I have no idea why I even try anymore...
 
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Friday

Moderator
Yikes.

Dear Senior Administrator So&So,

I am surprised that such a well respected hospital would leave themselves so open to charges of insurance fraud, by advertising -& billing for- scientifically rigorous & evidence based treatments; that have been replaced with with religious studies, new age, & eastern philosophy. Have you replaced your surgical suites with drum circles, & surgeons with faith healers?
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Curious how it went / what you decided to do.

'Mindfulness" is one of the four DBT pillars, but there's nothing in basic DBT that states it needs to invoke any kind of spirituality. Mindfulness practice often includes meditation, and I'd need to double check but I'm fairly sure there is some mention of meditation practice in the DBT books, as part of mindfulness. But nothing specifically spiritual.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
A very respected hospital's DBT IOP program had a spot open up. I was on their waitlist. I said okay... very nervously... as it seemed super well organized. I was told DBT is what is used. Talked to therapist. Seemed really put together. Homework to do and everything. Nothing said about anything spiritual. I even reviewed the very plain and ordinary DBT workbook they created and use. Nothing in it about manifesting or spirituality or becoming one with nothingness or watching SoulSunday teachings on spirituality.

I said ok, signed the paperwork, and I received an email of the first assignment the group is doing in prep for Monday.

The homework is two Buddhist mystic yogi videos that go deep into the spirituality of suffering from that perspective, and nothing about DBT skills. Nothing. None of it matches with the workbook topics. Or DBT subjects. The homework also includes journal entries on "manifesting" and "manifesting your worthiness." One of the journal entries is supposed to be about what you will manifest in your life this weekend... It's all stuff straight from SoulSunday and The Secret. As in the links 59 the videos go to those websites. (The Secret is basically the idea you create your reality with your thoughts. It's not CBT, but something very different.)

Nothing about or acting a single DBT skill. Not even the usual DBT diary cards.

While this is stuff that many people enjoy and celebrate snd is perfect for a spiritual retreat... I'm not into it... and I really didn't want to dive head long into spiritual stuff of any type at all in any way... and I'm not into The Secret and "manifesting" things. If that's what you do, that's cool, it's just not for me personally. I believe in something else spiritually.

The crux of the issue is that I signed up for a common therapy technique not a spiritual teaching/practice group of ANY type.

I signed up to do DBT skills.

*I haven't yet attended any of the groups.* All I have is 1 homework in prep for my first group Monday. We are supposed to be ready to answer the manifesting questions in group Monday. I already know I can't do this homework. I don't believe in this at all, not do I wish to discuss that I don't believe in it. I wanted to do DBT.

Should I quit now before I get any further into this? Or go on Monday and just explain I watched the videos and I can't answer the questions because my personal spiritual beliefs are different and then see how to group goes? Then see if they actually do any DBT or if it's all just this stuff... if this spiritual stuff was 5-10% of the group, I can just skip this part of it and focus on the 90 percent that is actually DBT. But if the group mirrors this homework, then I would for sure have to quit Monday. Awkward.

I have no idea why I even try anymore...
If it's clearly not for you, I wouldn't go.

I agree with @joeylittle about mindfulness - I've been trained extensively in mindfulness, and it does not in any way have to have anything to do with spirituality. If *all* you were seeing was the mindfulness and talk about suffering, I'd say give it a try. But with the addition of The Secret stuff, um...no.
 

Justmehere

Sponsor
The therapist opened the group with a quote from someone he said was a "mystic" and the quote was about prophets... I have no idea what it had to do with the group or DBT. He moved on to a secular mindfulness meditation.

After 10 minutes of that, and an hour of group members going over the homework - which everyone kept secular but one person - but that's ok for me if patients talk about religion in their healing - it got mostly normal for a secular DBT group.

Then the therapist shared he believes every part of the body has its own soul and we should ask the soul in each body part what it needs. What? The group topics for the day was interpersonal relationship skills. Why are we talking about body part souls?

The group carried on back to secular issues until one person who has been in the group for 3 weeks said she was learning so much about transcendental Buddhism from the group. Didn't praise all the DBT she was learning, but all the religion she was learning.

I didn't get much out of it and struggled to share because of the religious kick off and other comments the therapist keeps making... The group is a pretty quiet one. People don't easily share. He did end with encouraging the 2 other new people and myself that after the second group we attend to assess if it's the right group and treatment for us. Yeah, already there. The homework is totally secular this time... but come on. Be honest about what this group is about before people use up insurance benefits on it.

I have a call into the therapist and clinic director. I called them Friday, before group, and they didn't call back yet. I called the manager today. If I don't hear back, I'll email the therapist directly and explain my concern. I signed up for a secular group. Mindfulness and every DBT principle and skill can be done in a secular fashion. This isn't cool to keep pushing us into various religious practices and beliefs that have no relationship to DBT.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
Hi I’m sorry! I have run into this myself and it’s really difficult to get therapy. I say that I like a more clinical approach though I hardly know if that’s correct. My therapist has these weekends she runs and I think she’s crazy, and I would never talk about it, and she always sneaks it back in. I know what they’re like I’ve participated in an online group about them, it’s not for me.

I still like her as a therapist but I admit she also subscribes to the “eastern mysticism” and it’s really hard to escape this mindset in any kind of therapy setting. I’d love to be able to do some kind of group but I don’t want to deal with what you’re describing. Or 12 steps lol. That cuts down on the available choices.

I originally went to VanDerKolks old place because I thought it would be real clinical. It wasn’t.

Sorry you’re having the difficultly. I think finding good treatment is really hard.
 

Justmehere

Sponsor
He's actually good at the DBT part... when he does it.

I just spoke to the clinical director of outpatient services and she's escalating the matter to someone above her who will be sitting down with the therapist to review the content of the group. I don't know how much good this will do, or that I trust it will help or lead to anything good for me. I do plan to follow up with a letter when I have time.

She also indicated the problem will hopefully be addressed in the group as well, and I won't be named to the therapist by her or the other supervisor, but they will just tell him there are serious concerns about the amount of religious content he is bringing into group.

At first she went down the route of, "well mindfulness and meditation can sometimes hug the line with spiritual topics." I was able to validate that's different and that's not what I'm concerned about. I was able to get across that whatever patients believe and bring up, that's ok. I have no issue with that. They are not leading the group. When the therapist kicks off with the quote about prophets of a specific religion being great, and then keeps commenting about his religious beliefs souls and what he calls mystic beliefs and religious concepts as prescriptive for healing for the group.... and then also keeps commenting he wonders why the group is so quiet... "I'm concerned the therapist is lacking the insight into understanding when religion or politics is brought up, and even more, is a topic driven by the therapist as that religion being prescriptive for the patients in the group, a group of people who are mostly strangers to each other will at best get quiet. Quiet is probably the best possible response."

Her tone completely changed. She had heard of concerns before, but thought it was about the mediation and mindfulness as DBT skills... sigh.

I sent her the videos we had been watching for group time and homework where no DBT skills were mentioned, not even in the context of religious practices, but plenty about souls and salvation and death and life and etc. He sent the links to me (and the whole group) which go straight to a religious YouTube channel. Clear as day.

I commented it's about as appropriate as advertising and billing insurance for CBT when in reality we are watching 20 minute Billy Graham videos and not even discussing CBT skills and then the therapist wondering why everyone is quiet. Uh.

I even said, "Let's get real. This is a group of not mentally stable folks already struggling and desperate and he's pushing his religion on them and they are thinking uh, well my doc said I needed this... and most say they have never done DBT before. They think this is DBT. When it's not. This is an issue of trust. I feel really uncomfortable watching this happen."

The outpatient director asked me to consider talking to the therapist as a chance to practice using DBT interpersonal effectiveness skills. I said 1.) ironically we didn't cover that topic much even though we were supposed to do so 2.) I appreciate some people need more opportunity to practice handling difficult stuff like this, I don't 3,) It's really not up to me to try to have the conversation about his religion with him being used as a bait and switch with DBT. I don't want to be the girl in the group that complained about faith topics he's clearly excited about, if I go back at all. "Plus, I'm really busy today. It's up to this program to provide what you billed insurance to provide to me. it's up to you how you all will do that. It's up to me to be clear what I need and hold my boundaries. I have done this. I need not do anything further. Respectfully, it's not really my problem to solve."

She agreed.

This kind of pisses me off. Therapists screwing with trust always pisses me off. Sigh. Good day to use emotion regulation skills. Feeling grateful I have been through a DBT group before that did actual DBT and I can pull on that learning.
 
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Rumors

MyPTSD Pro
I am not super religious but have always taken the Buddhist representations as more of a philosophy versus religious teachings. It's the principal of changing the negative cognitions through positive meditations and other less conventional processes that allows me to embrace the possibility that it doesn't end up in some cult worshiping convent in Texas....lol... however, I can understand how that can be off-putting if you aren't prepared. Best of luck!!!
 
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