Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

on DBT

Via rydra_wong I saw the NYT piece about Marsha Linehan, developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), coming out as someone who suffered from what would now be diagnosed as borderline personality disorder (BPD -- the diagnosis for which DBT is particularly used).

Reading the comments on her entry, I find it so bizarre to see people registering discomfort with DBT (often couched with, "Well, I don't have BPD, so perhaps it is just that it is quite literally not intended for me") since I have become such a convert to it -- I who have never had a DSM diagnosis (save "adjustment disorder," which was basically so as to give the insurance company a reason to cover my therapy).

La bff concurs that she thinks of DBT's applicability as being for struggling with overwhelming emotion -- which can come up in many mental/emotional health contexts, including non-diagnostic ones.

Some commenters talked about discomfort with the religious inflection of some of the stuff in DBT, which I found ironic since I remember having a visceral negative reaction to learning that the workbook includes the option for your Higher Power can be another person (my visceral reaction being because humans are fallible and will ultimately disappoint you -- plus are not infallible behavior models -- though the ways in which the workbook talks about that I find more palatable than when I simply first heard the concept).

[Clarification: The commenters had experiences w/ DBT which v. understandably led to that discomfort -- I just found it really ironic on first encounter given my experience early in learning about DBT.]

A woman I know from college posted the NYT link to facebook, commenting:
Dialectical behavior therapy works for people with borderline personality disorder & other "stubborn" clients [the article's word choice]. It's also used for other disorders not mentioned. Personally, DBT introduced me to mindfulness and gave me a useful set of skills. In an un-grounded society filled with "shoulda coulda woulda," I wish more people could do some DBT. Bless Dr. Linehan for her courage & her work.
Tags: issues: mental illness, issues: religion

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