Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dear Devona Dragon: I'm not an alumna of The Bad Place. Thank God.

I got a strange email recently from Dr. Dragon's email address:

Dear Dr. Survivor,

I hope this email finds you well! I am writing to ask if you could take five minutes to complete the Annual Alumni Questionnaire, the link to which is pasted below. Completion of the questionnaire ensures the clinical program's continued accreditation. Your help with this as soon as possible would be greatly appreciated!


Devona Dragon's Whipping Girl
Clinical Program Coordinator

Curious, I clicked on the survey. It's basically trying to determine how many of their alumni are actually working in the field. Unlike one Bad Place PsyD I recently met who went back to her original career of financial management, and another who keeps getting certifications in different skills because she can't find a job as a psychologist.

Unfortunately I couldn't take it and skew their results. But I could respond to Devona. What would I say to her, seven years after she and her faculty abused and tried to destroy me?

Dear Devona,

Apparently you don't remember, but I withdrew from The Bad Place in 2006 after you and some of your faculty—Dr. Jack Jerk, Dr. Stinky Octopussy, and Dr. Stupid Stone—exerted horrendous abuse of power against me. You met with me in groups, two or three of you against me, without allowing me an advocate for support or to contest your assertions. Jack Jerk told vicious lies about me during faculty meetings, which you did not even bother to verify. (I did; I asked several adjunct professors and students if what he said about me was true, and they all agreed it was not).

Stinky Octopussy accused me of having loose boundaries, when, at a lecture with Dr. Bob Leahy, I asked how he would respond to my struggle with excruciating knee pain. As I later learned from a Bad Place PsyD grad who attended another of his lectures, Bob loves when people give him personal examples of their struggles; it's a great way for him to demonstrate his technique. I don’t think he would have hugged me at the end of the lecture if he didn’t appreciate my openness and candor.

After I left The Bad Place, I obtained my MSW and began working in the field of substance abuse. I now supervise 16 counselors in a major hospital’s substance abuse program, overseeing clinical and social service care for more than 800 patients. (That recent Bad Place PsyD grad? She’s still unemployed.)

You may wish to remove my email address from your mailing list.


Ayelet Survivor, MA, LMSW

Living well isn't the best revenge. Professional success despite opposition is.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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