Friday, November 5, 2010
Prescription for Change...and Acceptance
As I have mentioned, I am currently (and very slowly) working through this Dialectical Behavior Therapy workbook.
And things are changing rapidly for me thanks to this incredible modality -- more rapidly than I ever could have imagined. In that last two weeks alone, I have utterly changed how I approach my emotional disregulation and I have become aware of my thoughts in a way that I have never experienced.
Yoga has definitely prepared me for this type of work as my "witness" consciousness has been trained a bit, and DBT uses mindfulness training to the max, but something has clicked in place for me recently that was not happening before.
So what is Dialectical Behavior Therapy all about?
The psychologist Marsha Linehan created it, realizing that cognitive behavior therapy was not really working for her patients who were diagnosed as either BPD or Complex PTSD (and as I have pointed out, many believe these two may pretty much be the same thing).
Linehan realized that with cognitive behavior therapy there was so much emphasis on change that it left these patients, in particular, feeling defeated -- and judged. BPD patients, especially, have a hard time staying in therapy.
So Linehan redesigned cognitive behavior therapy with a new focus. Instead of focusing on change, DBT therapists strive to balance change with acceptance.
We work to change the behaviors that bring about pain and grief while at the same time radically accepting ourselves for who we are, accepting that we've been doing the best that we knew how, accepting that how we are was a logical response to what we've experienced.
Seems obvious, right? But not so much for those of us who have spent most of our lives doubting our existence, our sense of self, our right to be here, breathing air.
I'll be writing more about what I'm learning.
But...what would your life look like if you could accept yourself as you are? If you could see yourself as the beautiful, lovable human being you already are?