DBT - dodgy to disclose?

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Buddhagirl
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DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by Buddhagirl » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:31 am

Alright people,

I'm a 1st time applyer and a few days away from pressing submit. I've disclosed the fact that I had DBT 5 years ago. I think it makes me a better candidate for clinical training...but i wonder if I'm being stupid by disclosing this. I've pointed out that I've fully recovered and the benefits that being an ex-service user brings.

I don't know. Thoughts?
"Nothing is more important than guarding the mind. Let us constantly keep watch over it, curbing it with mindfulness and vigilance."-Dalai Lama

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Will
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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by Will » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:05 pm

Hiya,

Have a read of this post on the wiki - viewtopic.php?f=20&t=95

There isn't a right or wrong answer to your question - It's very much your decision based on how you feel able to reflect on your experiences and relate them to clinical training. This is just my opinion, but I think it could be a real positive - however I'd be mindful of how you can demonstrate that you are able to manage the demands of training, you don't want to leave a shortlister wondering!
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workingmama
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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by workingmama » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:13 pm

Hi there,

As Will says, entirely your own call, but for my own tuppence worth (not sure it's even worth tuppence!), I'd share that I have had past experience of mental health services/therapies/treatment, but personally would not share what kind of therapy it was. Other people will have ten different shades of other view on this, but for me, I fantasise that people might wonder what I went for treatment for based on this or that therapy. Also, I feel I've got a bit of privacy still in the face of a shared disclosure (that I had treatment, but keeping to myself for what and how).

Agree with Will about demonstrating robustness where possible.

Good luck!
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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by astra » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:16 pm

I would probably be more vague about it, reflect on the fact you have had therapy and what key things you have learned from it, but don't speicifically mention any MH diagnosis or specific therapy as it leaves poeple open to make assumptions that may be off the mark.
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Buddhagirl
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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by Buddhagirl » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:29 pm

Good points. DBT is not the same as having a bit of CBT or counselling.
"Nothing is more important than guarding the mind. Let us constantly keep watch over it, curbing it with mindfulness and vigilance."-Dalai Lama

astra
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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by astra » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:53 pm

Buddhagirl wrote: DBT is not the same as having a bit of CBT or counselling.
Exactly. People might assume quite a lot from that, rightly or wrongly.
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by SunflowerLondon » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:47 pm

Buddhagirl wrote:Alright people,

I'm a 1st time applyer and a few days away from pressing submit. I've disclosed the fact that I had DBT 5 years ago. I think it makes me a better candidate for clinical training...but i wonder if I'm being stupid by disclosing this. I've pointed out that I've fully recovered and the benefits that being an ex-service user brings.

I don't know. Thoughts?
You can definitely use your experience to show your understanding of mental health from multiple perspectives, that of a service user and of a therapist. However, I would keep it brief and only disclose enough information to get your point across (sometimes too much detail can be overwhelming). Good luck with your application!

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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by Lancelot » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:38 pm

I would agree with others that I wouldn't necessarily disclose that it was DBT specifically. DBT points to a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder which still very stigmatised. Probably more so in clinical training because of the interpersonal issues with a PD diagnosis. I suppose you could be more general about your experiences.

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Will
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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by Will » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:52 pm

Another thought on this - if you put it on your form, I'd expect to be asked about it at any interviews. I wouldn't include anything you're not totally comfortable talking about during a potentially stressful and anxiety provoking day!
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Buddhagirl
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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by Buddhagirl » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:52 am

I've changed it and been more general. Thanks evereyone.
I was expecting to be asked about it if I do get to interview, it would not have bothered me, I think I would be able to demonstrate the posititves in it.

Shame PD has such a stigma around it still. I used to be a 'nightmare' but now I think I have better mental health than most of the population. I have skills to manage my emotions and interpersonal situations, I never really ever feel anxious or low and don't have any unresolved childhood issues! Ah well, times are a-changing.
"Nothing is more important than guarding the mind. Let us constantly keep watch over it, curbing it with mindfulness and vigilance."-Dalai Lama

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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by Dice » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:44 pm

Hi Buddhagirl,

I'm in no position to advise re what would stand you in good stead for the application as I am also at the stage of starting to apply, so I hope you find what feels best for you.

However I thought I'd share my thoughts as I have a somewhat similar dilemma. This year will be my first time and my supervisor (a consultant CP and professor) is encouraging me to 'foreground' my service user status in my application (including having had intensive group and individual therapy), as long as I feel comfortable with this being brought up at interview and reflecting on it (both challenges and strengths of it). I may be in a different position from you because a lot of the experience I have is in peer or service user roles (e.g. service user researcher) and from the organisations I have worked for and publications etc that will be in my application there is a lot of inferred disclosure (e.g. inpatient admissions and PD diagnosis). My supervisor's previous experience with shortlisting applicants is that including dual identity could help to stand out from other applicants, and that on balance the CP community is more open to practitioners with dual identities now. However I don't know if this opinion is representative of CPs in general, in fact from the other responses it seems not. Perhaps it depends partly on where you are applying? The 2 courses I'm really interested in have strong research interests in this area, have 'out' service user researchers and practitioners, and I have met 'out' service user trainees on both of their courses.

So that's my 2-pence worth. Good luck with your application!

Dice

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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by Borrowed Cone » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:30 pm

I have always wondered how "relevant" disclosing past, personal mental health issues is when it comes to The Form. If I was reading one, I'd want to see how your service-user experience (whatever it was) has made you a better candidate for clinical training. Being an ex-service user in itself does not make someone an intrinsically better candidate just because they have had mental health issues and therapy.

With this in mind, mentioning the type of mental health issue and the type of therapy could possibly just be taking up words that could be used to reflect on the experience or talk about other stuff. Just some food for thought.

The Cone
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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by Dice » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:58 pm

Hi The Cone,

Very good point, it's all about reflecting on learning from the experience rather than just stating it, as with any other experience on The Form.

For me mentioning something like having had intensive group therapy is important because it developed my awareness of how I respond in groups and to others, especially in emotionally charged environments. It also gave me skills to deal with this more effectively, which I have found useful when working with clients in emotionally charged environments and thinking about the position I take when there's conflict in the team for example.

I'll try to think carefully about how to reflect on the benefits that I feel my personal experience has brought in a concise way!

Dice

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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by miriam » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:34 pm

I read this and my gut feeling was quite the opposite of the advice given. If I heard someone had been a service user and had a history of mental health problems, my first thought would be 'how resolved are the issues?' And to me, being completely open about what the diagnosis/treatment was and how you've benefited from therapy, and how you would ensure that you didn't relapse are things I'd feel positive about seeing. I'd worry about a passing mention that seems to minimise, hide or blur the issues. Like Cone I'd want to see exactly what you've gained from being a service user that you can bring to training, and how you plan to cope with the stress and client material in training and beyond. But then I see PD as 'trauma and attachment issues grown up', rather than as 'chronic problems that are hard to treat'.
Miriam

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Buddhagirl
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Re: DBT - dodgy to disclose?

Post by Buddhagirl » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:05 pm

Tricky. I've used the characters to reflect on how I think it makes me a better candidate, but have not said much about my ability to cope with the demands of training. Miriam you are right, the first thing I would think is 'will she cope with the stress' and fair enough.
I'm in two minds now. Before I said I had DBT, I received a formal diagnosis of PTSD but because I self harmed I was offered DBT. Which is true I don't think I was really that borderline, a bit obviously but I had such a secure attachment to my mother I think that protected me from the real long term 'stuckness'. Anyway, now it just states I had therapy and then I go on to reflect on the benefits of this. Thinking out loud now, I should talk about the disadvantages. Hmm. I disclosed Dbt in my PWP interview and beat loads of people, perhaps I will change it back.

I'm dyslexic and asked to be considered under the disability scheme anyway so, might go straight to interview anyway.


Dice, are you going to disclose?


Thanks everyone.
"Nothing is more important than guarding the mind. Let us constantly keep watch over it, curbing it with mindfulness and vigilance."-Dalai Lama

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