How did this go from DBT to The Secret?!


I came off a waitlist today for a different telehealth IOP. With much trepidation, I logged in.

It was much smaller (instead of 15 clients just 6), no religious teachings by the therapist at all, and it was easy to tell ACT, CBT, and DBT therapies were used. The therapist isn't a trauma therapist but is clearly trauma informed and was able to speak about PTSD with knowledge. The other clients all seem nice enough too. The therapist is already working on a long term plan of care with me, which I've never really had before. Nice to have this additional validation I made the right choice to bail on the other program.

Thankfully, the other program has stopped contacting me! Their billing dept confirmed they will not bill insurnace and they are working on approval to write off the charges entirely. *fingers crossed*
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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.
I just want to say that I am so impressed with your assertiveness skills. I would have struggled a lot with approaching it this way to advocate for my needs to be met, as going to a program makes me feel very vulnerable. Were you always able to communicate like this and if not would you be willing to share what aspects of your healing journey you would credit with holding your center to this extent? Thank you


Were you always able to communicate like this and if not would you be willing to share what aspects of your healing journey you would credit with holding your center to this extent? Thank you
Thanks for your kind comments. I'm not sure I'd hold myself out as a good communicator. The ability to speak up has a lot to do with embracing discomfort on purpose as a path to something more important rather than avoiding it -- and lots of self talk and battling cognitive distortions.

I was very nervous about speaking up. It was helpful to remember all I'm doing is owning my needs, and that I'm allowed to have them. I'm not expressing opinions in the moment to the treatment center about if the ideas they promoted were right or wrong, but honoring what I need.
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