I was attending dialectical behavior therapy for 9 months before I got kicked out after a suicide attempt. They never told me this directly, rather I got the message through the doctor at the hospital that they had dropped me from treatment and I couldn’t go back for a minimum of 6 months. It has now been 8 months and technically I can go back but I’m scared. Breaking up with my fiancé didn’t hurt even half as much as being kicked out of therapy. It was the first time in the 12+ years I have been trying therapy on and off that I really trusted someone and was completely honest and did my best to be transparent and genuine. Unfortunately this also brought out the worst in me and my self-harm and suicide attempts increased exponentially.

I am now in a much, much better place and know that I could use the dialectical behavior therapy skills to my advantage. I’m just not sure how to approach being referred back there, and working through the very large amount of hurt I still hold in my heart (but would really like to let go). I feel like taking that leap of faith again with people I know are quite willing to kick me out would be suicide. How can I approach this healthily?

A: I strongly recommend going back, but not to the same place and not to the same therapist. DBT offers some wonderful healing possibilities, but it certainly isn’t the only game in town, there are many other approaches that have equal value. So you may want to explore other means and other therapies. No one facility or method should be seen as having a lock on healing.

But whatever your choice, the first thing on the agenda is to talk about the feelings and lack of directness in being informed. We have an imperfect mental health system and this often leads to decisions by providers that may serve the system, but not honor the individual.

By laying out the issues upfront you can take more control in the situation.

I deeply admire your resilience and courage in dealing with your recovery process.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral