Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Comments by Kat Schultz

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  • Ok so I did DBT as a client and I teach DBT skills online. I hate the DBT industry. The board of certification is messed up. It is HUGELY expensive to get “certified” as an “official” DBT therapist (an obstacle to oppressed folks of all identities) and you have to follow the book and the rules to a T. So, many DBT clinics are run by white people in wealthy areas. Additionally, in order to train as an official DBT therapist you have to take a massive pay cut in exchange for your (fully DBT complying) clinic paying for your training – another way it’s prohibitive to people of color and other oppressed identities.

    Also, DBT does not reasonably accommodate neurodivergence. That’s a whole other convo.

    I think its original goal is great. Give chronically suicidal people the tools to build a life we actually want to live and keep us out of hospitals where further trauma can occur. But DBT has since become a cure-all. They send all sorts of people into official DBT programs, which are inaccessible (expensive and hard to find) and clog the long waitlists for folks who are literally suicidal.

    Also, “safety contracts” have gone out of fashion and are now recognized as abusive by many providers. And yet many DBT clinics continue to use them. Harm reduction is built into the original DBT and yet few DBT therapists practice that way anymore. They’re more scared of being sued and quite honestly, of folks with BPD (ironic, huh).

    What’s also ironic is that DBT is literally built on dialectics – two things can be true at the same time. And yet the rules and therapists are so black and white about DBT. It makes no sense. DBT ought to be compassionate with structure and skills training for suicidal folks to build their life worth living. It’s not “coping skills lite” for everyone in life.

    TL;DR – DBT has gotten far away from its useful original purpose and is now just coping skills for anyone with an obstacle.