May I join your DBT skills group and keep my non-DBT therapist?
Ethically, a person in any form of therapy can only have one primary therapist who is responsible for their treatment. Given the symptoms and struggles many people have when they come to our program, we want the responsibility to manage the treatment following formal DBT protocol which we know has been researched and proved effective. We are open to our participants having continued communication and support from a non-DBT therapist to retain the relationship. To us, this means having a session perhaps one in every five or six weeks with your non-DBT therapist.
If we get a referral for someone who does not have any life-interfering behaviors (e.g. suicidal/homicidal ideation, urges, planning, or self-harm behavior, urges or planning), and has only one problem in only a single area of life, we could consider them attending skills group only. We will have to assess this on a case-by-case basis. If a person has multiple problems in multiple areas of their life, research demonstrates that the person will need and thus we require comprehensive treatment.