~ Dialectical Skills ~

Posted by amberpep @amberpep, Sat, May 25 7:31pm

The Psychiatrist I found down here in Staunton, VA is excellent. After I saw him a few times he suggested I go to a group, sponsored by the hospital which is lead by Psychologists ….. 3 days a week for 3 hours each. Each therapist does 1 hour. It is basically "dialectical skills" or cognitive therapy …. in other words how do we turn around the things we are telling ourselves. About 20 years ago I worked with a Psychologist who did purely cognitive therapy. It worked short term, but not long term. Then I got into the deep type therapy and started to really work and dig out old stuff…..very painful. This group I'm in is great! I really like it and I always come home with food for thought. But I don't think I would want to try it if I had not gotten the really hard stuff out of the way first. I needed some insight into the "center of the onion" before I could tackle this type of therapy. Needless to say, I'm grateful. I have a sense this may be the beginning of some changes in me about living down here.
abby

@amberpep I’m so glad that things are looking up! You sound like a whole new person! And you live in a beautiful part of Virginia! Maybe the college there offers free classes for seniors. Wouldn’t that be nice?! You just sound so upbeat and happy—that makes me happy!

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@amberpep How good to hear the positivity in you words! I am so glad you stepped out to find that new psychiatrist, and the group. We often find it easier to "stay where we are" because it is a known world, no matter how bad we feel. Stepping just a little bit to the side gives us a whole new view, and is helpful in finding solutions. We're here for you, cheering you on, and offering that shoulder to lean on to get to the next step.
Ginger

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Hi,@amberpep – so glad to hear you've found this psychiatrist in VA you feel is excellent and that you are finding the group you are attending suggested by him helpful.

I also thought that other members who have talked about dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) might like to join in and share a bit about any experiences with this therapy or what they've learned about it, like @micekja @jmgndph @jgl15 @lorrainechavez @suscros68 @rachelanne. @petangelkat1 also mentioned some interest in this topic.

This description of DBT from mayoclinic.org also may be of interest:
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT includes group and individual therapy designed specifically to treat borderline personality disorder. DBT uses a skills-based approach to teach you how to manage your emotions, tolerate distress and improve relationships.

You mentioned always coming home from your group sessions with some food for thought. Wondering if you'd share a bit more about what kinds of things you have picked up from this group so far, @amberpep?

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I am a big fan of Marsha Linehan! I think she is cool and smart and I love DBT! While I don't have bpd I find dbt helpful for my anxiety. Glad you like DBT as well! I'm so thankful for DBT everyday and what is teaching and already taught me!

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@etreyz07

I am a big fan of Marsha Linehan! I think she is cool and smart and I love DBT! While I don't have bpd I find dbt helpful for my anxiety. Glad you like DBT as well! I'm so thankful for DBT everyday and what is teaching and already taught me!

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Hi, @etreyz07 – will you share a little more about what you have learned from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)?

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Gosh so much and I’m still learning! I like that if you enjoy things to not avoid in moments that are harder ride the wave, use your wise mind, accumulate positives, do things to feel and be well!

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@lisalucier

Hi,@amberpep – so glad to hear you've found this psychiatrist in VA you feel is excellent and that you are finding the group you are attending suggested by him helpful.

I also thought that other members who have talked about dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) might like to join in and share a bit about any experiences with this therapy or what they've learned about it, like @micekja @jmgndph @jgl15 @lorrainechavez @suscros68 @rachelanne. @petangelkat1 also mentioned some interest in this topic.

This description of DBT from mayoclinic.org also may be of interest:
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT includes group and individual therapy designed specifically to treat borderline personality disorder. DBT uses a skills-based approach to teach you how to manage your emotions, tolerate distress and improve relationships.

You mentioned always coming home from your group sessions with some food for thought. Wondering if you'd share a bit more about what kinds of things you have picked up from this group so far, @amberpep?

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Hi Lisa …. yes, I've always been a black and white person …. things are either good or bad …. no middle. Well, this challenges us to find that area in the middle. Picture two circles and the area where they intersect. That's the middle …. the thoughtful part that challenges my either black and white thinking. A whole new concept for me. Yesterday we were doing mindfulness, and I realize that I cannot do multiple things at once, and still have mindfulness. For me, it's why I can't find my keys, my phone, etc. I just lay it down, not thinking where, and then because I didn't think when I did it ….. I can't find it and it starts that whole crazy search. We're getting it into more today. This is all new for me, but oh so very helpful.
abby

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@etreyz07

I am a big fan of Marsha Linehan! I think she is cool and smart and I love DBT! While I don't have bpd I find dbt helpful for my anxiety. Glad you like DBT as well! I'm so thankful for DBT everyday and what is teaching and already taught me!

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Hi …. one of our leaders has mentioned her book several times …. might be good for me to pick up a used copy on Amazon.
b

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@etreyz07

Gosh so much and I’m still learning! I like that if you enjoy things to not avoid in moments that are harder ride the wave, use your wise mind, accumulate positives, do things to feel and be well!

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@etreyz07, I do like what you said about "accumulate positives." If you are comfortable sharing more, what ways do you do that?

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I believe being thankful for what we have matters. Being grateful. Making a list of affirmations and activities I enjoy helps me. Also being appreciative that every minute every day is a gift so enjoy that! I like thinking that after a storm there can be a rainbow!

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@amberpep

Hi Lisa …. yes, I've always been a black and white person …. things are either good or bad …. no middle. Well, this challenges us to find that area in the middle. Picture two circles and the area where they intersect. That's the middle …. the thoughtful part that challenges my either black and white thinking. A whole new concept for me. Yesterday we were doing mindfulness, and I realize that I cannot do multiple things at once, and still have mindfulness. For me, it's why I can't find my keys, my phone, etc. I just lay it down, not thinking where, and then because I didn't think when I did it ….. I can't find it and it starts that whole crazy search. We're getting it into more today. This is all new for me, but oh so very helpful.
abby

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Hello @amberpep! My spouse has BPD, and he misplaces and loses important items all the time! So you're not the only person who loses keys, phones, etc.

I'm currently in counseling, and doing that 'deep work' too. It hurts, and is exhausting, but I need to do it if I'm going to make any progress in recovering from my mental sickness.

I have anxiety, and I'm learning that reframing concerns can reduce my anxiety. For example, I've been struggling with my weight, and ashamed of my body, my whole life. The popular 'body positivity' – loving my body – concept is too much of a mental leap for me, and it winds up my anxiety. Body neutrality, which removes the emotional values of love and hate and lowers the stakes, is something I can accept. Thinking of my body as a vehicle for my mind, and that it requires careful maintenance to function properly, is a step towards unconditional acceptance.

DBT works!

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@zoobditty

Hello @amberpep! My spouse has BPD, and he misplaces and loses important items all the time! So you're not the only person who loses keys, phones, etc.

I'm currently in counseling, and doing that 'deep work' too. It hurts, and is exhausting, but I need to do it if I'm going to make any progress in recovering from my mental sickness.

I have anxiety, and I'm learning that reframing concerns can reduce my anxiety. For example, I've been struggling with my weight, and ashamed of my body, my whole life. The popular 'body positivity' – loving my body – concept is too much of a mental leap for me, and it winds up my anxiety. Body neutrality, which removes the emotional values of love and hate and lowers the stakes, is something I can accept. Thinking of my body as a vehicle for my mind, and that it requires careful maintenance to function properly, is a step towards unconditional acceptance.

DBT works!

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@zoobditty Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. We're glad to have you at our cyber-table. Congratulations to you on doing the heavy work of finding out what works best for you, in healing. It never ceases to amaze me how many ways there are to do healing work. As I was reading your post, it dawned on me that over the decades I have done so much, having been through different types of counselors, etc. I have such an opposition to labels of any sorts that I have never fully embraced a particular definition of things that I am doing to get better. I am better than I used to be, have a ways to go [perhaps a long ways to go!] but I just don't put labels on things, procedures, or techniques. Perhaps the fact that I am better is what counts and that's enough for me.

If you care to share, please tell us how helping a spouse with BPD affects your day-to-day living, both as an individual and as a couple?
Ginger

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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Thanks, Ginger! Since I am a high-functioning person on the autism spectrum, and as a result, I've had social anxiety all my life, I've had counseling off and on for 30 years. The meds are more recent – I think I started those in 2012.

I will start my own thread, because this is amberpep's thread.

The short answer to "please tell us how helping a spouse with BPD affects your day-to-day living, both as an individual and as a couple?"

My spouse has multiple diagnoses, both Borderline Personality Disorder and Gender Dysmorphia (transgender). His and our decline was slow. He self-medicated with drinking, and was sort of functional for quite a while, keeping a job. The thing is, all he did was work, and some cooking. I did everything else. Raised our autistic son, worked part time, most chores, paid bills, made and kept track of appointments, took care of our vehicles, etc.

( I'll continue this later – writing this is harder than I thought.)

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