Entitlement Issues

sfs

I don’t agree with David Olsen (Executive Director of Samaritan Counseling of the Capital Region) and Jenness Clairmont (former clinical director) that therapists are entitled to a ‘preferred mode of treatment’ when that treatment involves repeatedly suggesting to a client that they must believe in God and admit their character defects or die from alcoholism, and that wanting to discuss this is indicative of a personality disorder. Especially not if you train NYS social workers and have not-for-profit status.

That just sounds like a recipe for covering up sexual abuse. And it’s something David Olsen seemed all to comfortable with. As a sex therapist and pastor/trainer, who wrote a BOOK ABOUT CLERGY SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ENTITLED “SAYING NO TO SAY YES“…..? And there’s nobody to complain to?

To label a client as having ‘entitlement issues’ for expecting to be able to discuss after he put months into ‘his side of the contract‘, this is very hypocritical and closed-minded. It should not be legal for state-licensed social workers to act this way.

That is in fact the impression I got from Jenness Clairmont (that I was being unreasonable to think this deserved a discussion, as she terminate-referred me to a 12-step interventionist directly after my complaint about 12-step coercion). My therapist told me things like ‘You may THINK I promised you something.’ and ‘It was a possibility, not a promise’ that I’d be able to discuss the treatment they referred me to again and again. She acted like I was harassing her when I asked her for a session to listen to what I had been through. But in fact, they had made this agreement, then pretended they didn’t. I have records showing these agreements, and that they were denying me that meeting as a form of punishment for not bowing down to AA and not keeping my concerns about their tactics to myself.

The weirdest thing was that both Jenness Clairmont and my therapist had expressed to me that they didn’t really like Alcoholics Anonymous. It is impossible to know if they were being sincere or not, considering their subsequent total denial of those private interactions and their proceeding to continue playing the same games as if nothing had gone horribly wrong for very clear reasons that they refuse to acknowledge.

David Olsen, the Executive Director of Samaritan Counseling, thinks he’s entitled to disregard and remove my complaints from my records without explanation, which is almost definitely a HIPAA violation (I have not received any response about this from Miguel Diaz, the HIPAA compliance officer at Samaritan Counseling of the Capital Region). There has been a clear and sustained effort by both Directors to silence me and to portray me as not credible, when in fact the evidence is very clear. Samaritan Counseling’s primary purpose is to avoid any responsibility.

This petition is signed by many people who have experienced such dangerously unprofessional and childish behavior by professional cult members: To Health Workers and Academics About Alcoholics Anonymous

“While maintaining a full-time practice, Jenness had served as the clinical and training director at Samaritan Counseling in recent years. She provides educational services in the form of clinical supervision for mental health professionals and is an adjunct professor for the Sage Graduate School teaching Family Counseling.

Jenness currently serves on the New York State Board for Mental Health Practitioners for the New York State Board of Education Office of Professions.

She is a clinical member of the NASW and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. She is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and has served as the Legislative Committee Chair and the President for the Albany/Hudson Chapter of NYAMFT.”

Jenness Clairmont, Oona Edmands, and David Olsen have remained eerily silent in response to my well-researched and documented grave doubts about their ‘preferred treatment’.

Physician Health Programs: More Harm Than Good?

“On his first day at the assessment center, Dr Langan said he was asked how he was going to pay $80,000 cash. “This was before they even evaluated me,” he told Medscape Medical News. Subsequently, Dr Langan said he underwent an independent hair and fingernail analysis that turned out to be negative “for all substances of abuse.”

Since then, he has been documenting possible cases of negative interaction with these organizations. The system, he says, leaves physicians “without rights, depersonalized and dehumanized.”

Physician Health Programs: More Harm Than Good?

The 13th Step Documentary in San Francisco

voiceless

Here’s a picture of me with Monica Richardson (who made a film about predatory abuse in AA called The 13th Step) and Ken Ragge (author of More Revealed and The Real AA) at the Voiceless International Film Festival in San Francisco. I hope mental health workers stop referring people to AA, because it’s going to get them sued. One purpose of this blog is to encourage people to complain to the Department of Health, state licensing boards, and two-hatter therapists about 12-step coercion and hopefully get some litigators interested in getting a piece of the fraudulent $35 billion dollar rehab industry this way.

13th

Thanks to the people of the Voiceless International Film Festival who were brave enough to view and show this documentary detailing systemic fraud, sexual and financial abuse and negligence issues in 12-step programs and the 12-step industry.

I hope everyone will be able to see this movie soon, as they have finally cleared the legal blocks to getting wider distribution. 12-steppers shamefully go to any lengths to try to suppress this kind of information, which may actually help so many people. After seeing this movie, you will never want to put another buck in the basket.

Monica is a genius, because she has realized that big media exposure and litigation is the only way to hold Alcoholics Anonymous accountable for the damage they are doing and the information they actively work to hide. This is not easy to accomplish, but it is not impossible. She is pursuing those goals tenaciously and unapologetically on behalf of people who have been raped, murdered, extorted, psychologically abused, scammed, or coerced and then ignored by members and employees of this 501(c)3 organization and its business arm, the rehab industry.

Yes, AA is being sued right now for their willful negligence, and they will lose in a big way.

Samaritan Counseling and Alcoholics Anonymous Coercion

On 5/22/14, I called up my therapist, an LCSW, to ask for an appointment. I had spent over five months jumping through 12-step rehab/addiction treatment hoops required by her and David Olsen to get back into ‘non-addictions’ therapy. I did not realize that she was a ‘two-hatter’ (a professional who also sees it as her job to force people into 12-step programs), and did not expect the traumatic conversation that was about to take place.

I had already decided that I didn’t want to do AA back in November, and I had told them all that. Their response was to refuse to talk to me unless I went first to a twelve-step interventionist James Garrett, and inpatient 12-step rehab for 30 days (which I refused to do because it cost $17,000 and I was in the process of leaving AA). Finally, I got the addictions counselor James Garrett to allow me to schedule an appointment with my therapist. I told him that I wanted to tell her how counterproductive these requirements were, and that he had nothing to offer me as I had already decided I don’t want anything to do with AA.

He had told her, apparently, that she should not talk to me. (After all, Level 3 of “The Formal ARISE Intervention”: serious consequences are put in place if the addicted individual does not enter treatment.) He knew that all I wanted was to discuss this with her, and he intentionally would not let that happen.

“[Jim Garrett] was clear that I had set a clear boundary with the client” – Oona Edmands LCSW, Samaritan Counseling

“Discussed how his drinking damaged the relationship with Oona and how he may never get the opportunity to resolve/bring closure to that relationship” – James Garrett LCSW

Oona Edmands refused schedule an appointment to listen to what I had been through in those 5 months under her direction (direction which appeared to me to be under duress), and noted in her records that I was not following up on the ‘recommendations’. Twice she labeled my statements as ‘contradictory’ when I said I had done what they told me to do (such as $265/week group session at Saint Peter’s Addiction Recovery outpatient) but that it wasn’t helpful, as if I had not even tried it.

“He became upset and stated he did not understand why he could not just talk to me.” – Oona Edmands LCSW, Samaritan Counseling

They later labeled this being upset as “Axis II presentation”. But I told Jenness Clairmont that I had every reason to believe I’d be able to discuss this with her, as they kept telling me basically “if you do this, that, then you can talk to Oona Edmands again”, and I had spent a lot of time, money, and trust trying to do what they suggested and noting how it affected me. I hoped my experience would give them some useful insight into the ‘treatment’ they were allied with. She was being used as a carrot on a stick instead of being allowed to be a competent professional capable of listening to my actual experience with what is more and more being revealed as a fraudulent and corrupt industry with no ‘special knowledge’ – Addiction Treatment.

“I consulted with my supervisor David Olsen PhD who stated that I should not be alone with the cl. again and the only possible contact might be a group session with Jim Garrett to complete the transfer and so that Mr. Garrett would fully understand the transference issues. He stated that it was likely that seeing me would cause a relapse and Jim should understand this.” – Oona Edmands LCSW, Samaritan Counseling

This is also part of the ARISE intervention strategy (“The Intervention Network acts as a Board of Directors, so no one deals one-on-one with the addicted individual.”) This of course makes it impossible to discuss anything without the 12-step interventionist being involved.

This mediated session also never happened. David Olsen never met with me, and Jenness Clairmont also did not follow up with me after she informed me that I was accused of harassment. Instead they sent me a letter stating that under no circumstances was I to have any further contact with anyone at Samaritan. I found that extremely odd and hurtful, especially since I had done nothing wrong, but rather had spent months trying to respectfully fulfill ‘my side of the contract’, even though it nearly led me to suicide.

The purpose of this blog is to call out two-hatting among social workers. My own experience is with:

David Olsen, the Executive Director of Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region, who was Oona Edmands’ supervisor and told her things like: she needs to ‘call me out on my bullshit’, that I was ‘taking her for a ride’, and that I’m a ‘ticking time bomb’. He was also behind every 12-step requirement according to my records.

Oona Edmands and Jenness Clairmont (the Clinical Director and coincidentally on the NYS Office of Professions, the licensing board) both at one time or another mentioned that they were not fond of the 12-steps. However, this did not prevent them from terminating me under David Olsen’s direction when I complained about the 12-step coercion.

It seemed more like she was trying to call me an alcoholic to cover up for something (I think she thought her job was in jeopardy because she had told me things like “it’s like we’re dating” which confused me), than actually trying to help me. Which of course made things much worse than they needed to be. The real issue is that they would not acknowledge that 12-step coercion, especially in the aftermath of that, was extremely harmful and demeaning.

James Garrett is much more overtly a 12-step interventionist. This is his method: ARISE Intervention. It is absurd that Samaritan Counseling would terminate-refer me to a 12-step interventionist after I complained about 12-step coercion, but this is, as David Olsen put it, their ‘preferred mode of treatment’. I got the impression that this is a good way to wash their hands of their own mistakes and make the client feel guilty about transference issues after they’ve enjoyed being someone’s ‘higher power’ a little too much. This is especially concerning in relation to a sex therapist who seems to have issues with censoring negative feedback, religious boundary violations, and refusing to address complaints properly.

Not one of these four therapists licensed by the State of New York has even a mark on their license for 12-step coercion, suppression of informed consent, professional conflict of interest, and refusal to address a complaint properly. They could have done the right thing, but they all chose not to, and they need to be held accountable for this. In my opinion, they should all have their licenses revoked.

Freedom of Information Law

I’m hoping to get some insight on why New York State Department of Education thinks mishandled transference and 12-step religious coercion by their licensed social workers is not a matter within their jurisdiction.

“Dear Mr. Gleason:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for State Education Department (SED) records regarding Samaritan Counseling Center. The reference number for this request is FL-OP-2015/496. Please be advised that you will hear further from the Department by approximately September 11, 2015 as to whether your request will be granted or denied in whole or in part.

SED charges the statutorily permitted fee of $.25 per page for duplication of records requested under FOIL (Public Officers Law §87[1][b][iii]). There is no provision in law or regulation requiring the waiver of this fee. Payment must be made to the NYS Education Department by check or money order. Do not send any payment until you are notified that your request is granted and informed of the charge for your request. If your request is for electronic records and your request is granted, the records will be provided to you in that format.

If your request is granted one of the following will happen:

1. If your request can be filled immediately, and the total duplication fee is under $25.00, staff will forward the requested records to you with a statement of what you owe for the duplication fee. Or:

2. If the total duplication fee for your request is $25.00 or more (100 pages), you will be advised of the page count and duplication fee owed in advance of duplicating the records. Upon receipt of payment, staff will duplicate and mail the requested records. Or:

3. If it will take time to locate and/or duplicate the records you have requested, you will be given a date by which you will be told the page count and duplication fee for your request.

Regards,

Records Access Officer”

Antipsychotics prescribed for wanting to discuss Alcoholics Anonymous Coercion

Last year I was at work and my boss announced that Robin Williams had committed suicide. I knew a bit about Robin Williams’ because I had heard him talk about AA a lot and use a lot of the AA jargon I knew a lot about after attending meetings for two years and going through the rehab racket myself. I was at the time on antipsychotic/antischizophrenic drugs, like Robin Williams. These drugs are routinely prescribed to people in rehabs and psychiatric wards off-label as ‘mood stabilizers’, and they were prescribed to me to ‘help me stop obsessing’ about the systemic problems of AA that I was not allowed to discuss with any LCSW I knew in NYS. These drugs also are known to cause ‘drug-induced Parkinsonism’ which is symptomatically indistinguishable from Parkinson’s disease. They cause flickered vision, involuntary shaking, in my experience. I told my boss that I knew why he killed himself. “Too much AA”. Why did I think this? Because I was seriously considering suicide myself.

It was no surprise to me that Robin Williams had recently been to rehab at Hazelden (a twelve step rehab), went to an AA meeting after getting out, and then killed himself. It wasn’t surprising to me because 12-step rehab made me want to kill myself. It’s not funny. He wasn’t dishonest, defective, insane, powerless, or selfish. But that’s what they told him he was.

More Letters that Samaritan Counseling Chooses to Ignore

I am addressing this to the HIPAA compliance officer, David Olsen Executive Director, my former therapist, and also Jenness Clairmont the Clinical Director at the time.

I am asking you for a meaningful response to my complaint about 12-step coercion on notpowerless.com and your apparent portrayal of me as being not worth speaking to for various reasons (I didn’t use a stamp, I have a ‘personality disorder’, I drank alcohol, my complaint letter about the harmfulness of ‘addiction treatment’ was somehow ‘harassment’, etc).

I am also asking you for my records.

If James Garrett has not shared his records with you as I requested, I am happy to share them with you so that I can have the discussion with XXXX as agreed upon a year and a half ago. I know it took me a few $110 meetings and I was talked out of getting my records from him several times. When I did finally get them from him, it was apparent that there was significant miscommunication going on between you and him about the nature of his services and agreements made.

My intention was to escape ‘addiction treatment’, not to be referred back to it again and again. This lack of response landed me in a psychiatric ward where I was given anti-psychotics to ‘help me stop obsessing about it’ and was told that I somehow broke boundaries with my therapist (asking me questions like “oh, you touched her?”) I am insulted and disgusted by your treatment of me. I did nothing wrong in therapy except open my heart to be told I’m defective and insane.

Hello,

I have not received any response to this so I am attempting to contact anyone I can at Samaritan and Samaritan Institute Centers country-wide. This is not a personal contact (as I was banned from any personal contact with anyone at the center or its affiliates – I assume this means any Samaritan Institute accredited agency – by David Olsen and Jenness Clairmont after not using a stamp to deliver my letter of concern). This is a sincere business inquiry regarding my concerns about HIPAA violations, censorship, and 12-step coercion. I release my records to anyone who receives this e-mail, because I actually want to discuss this and think that you have a fiduciary responsibility to not censor my feedback.

Was there some administration error that explains why my complaints were removed from my records?

Is 12-step coercion your policy alone or is that something across the board with Samaritan Institute accredited Samaritan Counseling Centers? If so, you should let clients know that before they spend a year thinking that they may have had a choice about it, so that they can provide informed consent. Also, you should address a complaint about 12-step coercion because if you don’t, it leaves the client wondering why you don’t care about the effects of this kind of ‘treatment’.

Proper follow-up to a complaint about 12-step coercion is not termination-referral to a 12-step interventionist.

Please give me a call or e-mail and we can discuss this serious problem.

You can see my website notpowerless.com for more information about this case.

Again, I release my records to anyone who receives this e-mail, and would like to discuss them with someone at Samaritan Counseling. I can provide copies of my complaint letters if they have been discarded before or after the NYS Office of Professions investigation.

Looking forward to your response,

Tom

I have not received any response to this. Please explain why my complaints were removed from my records.