Words of hope from clients in DBT

 “Every now and then, I have a truly amazing day. Right now I couldn’t tell you when the last one was, or even what it felt like – but I know it’s happened before, and probably will again one day, and I don’t want to miss it.”

“I am continually amazed that I have made it this far, and I am curious as to how much farther I can keep going.”

“If I can make it through this, I have a future waiting, with people who need me.”

“I have many people who love and care about me, even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes. I don’t want to hurt them more than I already have.”

“I can see hope. Sometimes it’s a little foggy, but I can still make out the outline of it.”

“My therapist puts so much effort into me and I don’t want to let him down. If he can care that much, there must be something worth fighting for. I want to find what he can already see.”

“I know how much it hurts to lose someone I care about.”

“I care deeply for the friends I made in class, and for those who lead us. We’ve been through so much together.”

“I have the feeling that there is something more out there that I have not yet found.”

“Together, with my therapist, I want to get to the life worth living.”

“I’ve managed to survive such horrendous experiences earlier on. It would just seem unfair to me to give up on myself now.”

“Someday when I get through this, I will be able to help others.”

“I've learned that I matter.”  

 “DBT is a no-nonsense approach that invited me to really look at and assess what I was thinking. It doesn’t go into the “why’s”, rather it helps look at the present day and work to deal with it using skills. It helped me to change abnormal behaviors and thoughts into normal ones. I see myself as part of the world rather than as an outsider. I learned to challenge old messages, to sort through them (tediously) in a way that began to make sense."

“My life now is different in that I’m part of my life now. I have an awareness of what I am doing, where I am, what I am saying, who I’m with… I now see the beauty of reality – I don’t have to run away from it because it scares me. I have a better sense of reality and can recognize when my mind wanders out of it. I know the skills to get into a better emotional frame of mind. I can now help others as well as learn from them. Life is fuller and richer. It is easier now to trust others and let them in – to not be afraid of others or myself.”

 

 

INFORMATION FOR FAMILIES SEEKING DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY FOR THEIR ADOLESCENT.

 How to identify the most effective dialectical behavior therapy program for your child and/or adolescent.

  1. Insure that the adolescent and family program that you are looking for has both child and parent participation on a weekly basis.  One of the key components to adolescent DBT treatment is the presence of parent and/or guardian or guardians who have a significant role in the caregiving of the child.  Consistent attendance by at least one parent is recommended as this creates a level of continuity throughout treatment for the teenager.
  2. Insure that the individual therapist is an intensively trained or Linehan certified DBT therapist or supervised by someone who has been intensively trained or Linehan certified.
  3. Insure that your child is completing a diary card on a regular basis as well as doing homework from group.
  4. Homework is assigned to parents from the skills group as well and parent participation in the process of completing homework on a regular basis is important.  A significant focus on the skills of validation and mindfulness for parents is a key function of the parental support.
  5. Insure that coaching calls are available for your child with their therapist through some mode to include the possibility of texting and/or e-mailing or instant messaging.
  6. Insure that treatment providers are participating weekly in consultation with other team members who are providing DBT treatment.

While these are recommendations in regards to the most effective approach to identifying an adherent DBT program for your family, there may sometimes be variations in programs depending on organizational constraints.  The key components, however, are to insure that the adolescent is not participating in the group alone and that parents are actively engaged in the process of learning the DBT skills themselves.  Programs that isolate the parent and child in the treatment are not consistent with the model as we currently understand it and therefore limit the effectiveness of the treatment.

 

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