I have been a DBT therapist for about 15 years. One of my former coworkers was sent this book by the publisher to read and review. I sent the publisher an email and asked for a copy as well, citing trainings I had done as a participant and facilitator, reviews of books pertaining to DBT which I had read, and even included a photo of me with Marsha from a training in Seattle. I read it in one sitting and immediately purchased a copy through Amazon so I could loan it out.
I tried not to do my normal reading thing--make notes in pencil, annotate specific quotes in a small notebook, and make a list of other books to read--but resorted to this by page 75. I also was making apple butter with pecans so had wonderful aromas in the kitchen as well as a pot of strong coffee. Then, to make the mood absolutely perfect--had my Alexa speaker play Adele. I think Marsha would have enjoyed that.
I have been fortunate to participate in trainings with Marsha and to have staffed clients with her. She used to have students from her intensive trainings over for dinner at her house. It was absolutely wonderful to walk around arm-in-arm with her and have her tell me kind thoughts and wish me well with my clients. That was really one of my life's highlights.
Around 2012 I was doing a DBT group with adolescent girls. One 12 year old asked if possibly Marsha was 'one of us?' I asked her what she meant by that, why did she think so? And the child said it was because she seemed to know exactly what we had been through. I nodded and told them about the NY Times article and brought it in the following week. When I had met Marsha her arms still bore severe scarring.
On page 176 Marsha talks about using occasional strategic helplessness--which had me laughing out loud. When my oldest daughter was 18, the car made a funny noise and we pulled off road. She asked how we would get some help? I knew this kid was going to be moving out and on her own and I suggested she pop the hood and look forlornly at the engine--said some man would be by in about 5 minutes to help us out. Yes. I did that even after having come up in the 70's and having been told no most of my life--I have used occasional strategic helplessness to my advantage.
On page 272 there is a remarkable awareness of the misery shared by many borderline clients which Marsha identifies as being homesick. How poignant. What an apt description.
There is a brilliant quote by Rainer Maria Rilke that should be on the wall of all DBT therapists, at least 4 other books I want to look up. Much of the information on skills and research was familiar to me. It was fun to go to the ISITDBT conference and see many of the DBT rock stars.
Many DBT therapists are gifted trainers and have helped thousands of people over the course of their work. Marsha is a solid human being who has made the most of what was given to and made available to her. She is a remarkable human being. She loves her clients and her work. If the level of DBT experience and capability was identified by the seat number you were given at the world's largest stadium--I would probably be at home watching the event on TV. Still, Marsha makes everyone feel they belong at the head table.
One last thing. I grew up in Connecticut and our mother was at the Institute of Living on several occasions--also in the 1960s into the early 1970s. A sad dialectic-- it was a renowned hospital and it was unpleasant. Shock treatments and cold packs were often the norm and no one spoke of mental illness. Marsha's development of biosocial theory and her path to wellness are earned.
This book would be validating to persons with borderline personality disorder, their family members, therapists who provide DBT services, and especially those who may work with persons with borderline personality disorder who do not share the love of those suffering.
Thank you, Marsha. We love you.
- Audio CD
- Publisher: Random House; Unabridged edition (7 January 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385367864
- ISBN-13: 978-0385367868
- Boxed-product Weight: 227 g
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