Thursday, June 23, 2011

NYT Article on Marsha Linehan and Dialectical Behavior Therapy

We've written in the past in Scientific Mindfulness about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), one of the early pioneers in mindfulness-based treatments. DBT is also hugely important in providing effective treatment for extremely suicidal people who how have difficult regulating their emotions--often diagnosed as borderline personality disorder. These are the kind of clients that many therapists in Portland still shy away from.

In this New Yorker Times article, University of Washington professor and core DBT originator Dr. Marsha Linehan talks about her own struggles with suicidality. This is the first time she's publicly come out about being hospitalized for 26 months when she was a teenager. During this time she was placed in seclusion, strapped down, and given electroconvulsive therapy. Dr. Linehan eventually devoted her life to helping people with the types of problems she had struggled with. As she says, 

“I decided to get supersuicidal people, the very worst cases, because I figured these are the most miserable people in the world — they think they’re evil, that they’re bad, bad, bad — and I understood that they weren’t,” she said. “I understood their suffering because I’d been there, in hell, with no idea how to get out.”

It's a stunning, public revelation from a very important researcher, clinician, and figure in psychology. To read the full article, click here.

Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality DisorderSkills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder

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