I was rambling on in my therapist’s office today, mainly about the move and all it was triggering. Then we got on the topic of finding a therapist once I move. I told her about the program run by the psychologist she had mentioned, and how they make DBT a required part of the program. I was telling her that I am not really sure why it triggers me so much, but it always does… She asked if it had anything to do with the way it is taught. I had to think about it and we talked about it. We came up with that being one of the huge triggers of the program for me. It brings up so much of my childhood and my interactions with family and well-meaning friends… The style is just too harsh for me. And it doesn’t let you process what comes up, just tells you not to indulge the feelings it brings up, and how to get through the feelings… While it is not intended to be invalidating, it comes off as very much so (to me). I also have trouble asking for what I need, because I often don’t know what I need. The lack of processing then makes it difficult for me to understand where to go next.
With that realization, I now have a better answer for clinicians when they ask me “Why don’t you want to try DBT again?” It also got us on to a discussion of why it is that so many facilities and clinicians push the DBT model on their clients… Wasn’t it developed by Marsha Linnehan because other popular treatment strategies did not work? She saw a need for an alternative, figured one out, and marketed it well after proving it successful with some. It seems like since that breakthrough, everyone has decided that it is the best (and often times the ONLY) option offered to anyone struggling with emotion regulation and self-injury. What happened to the knowledge that one approach does not work for everyone? What happened to trying to find alternatives so that people are not left in the dark when that one option doesn’t work for them?
I think i found a focus for my dissertation whenever it is that I go back to school… We need alternatives to the DBT and CBT approaches for people like myself who do not benefit from the way they are structured (tho the info and skills are good)… Just sayin’….