The Merits of Dialectical Behavior Training (DBT)

This evening I completed an eight week Kaiser Permanente workshop on the topic of Dialectical Behavior Training (DBT) which explored mindfulness, meditation, emotional tolerance and coping strategies. It was surprising to me that two thirds of the class had never even heard of mindfulness before. To celebrate my “graduation” from the course I called my Mom whom I hadn’t spoken with in a year, and whose birthday just so happens to be today. How timely. I told her I loved her and looked forward to visiting her later in the month to begin healing our rocky relationship. And I really am looking forward to it. Throughout this year I realized that when I love others unconditionally as they are (not as I want them to be or wish they could have been in the past) then I can fully love that reflection of others within me. By practicing this I move one step closer to my fullest human expression of love in our world.

It might surprise some of you but for my entire life I’ve struggled with loving myself. All of my travels and projects have been experiments to figure out how to do this better. It’s been a surprisingly elusive yet noble goal, for unless I can fully love myself, I cannot fully love anyone else. Finally during a particularly dark time some months ago I went to a psychiatrist, convinced I was finally losing my mind for good this time. I’d been reading a lot of psychology books, and was pretty certain that I had a variety of personality disorders. She alleviated my concerns by saying that I exhibited a high self awareness and that I should just listen to myself more. She also recommended this DBT course as a good idea for everyone, but especially those who suffered from an emotionally traumatic childhood. And after all, who got away unscathed? And just a couple of months later, combined with a better diet, exercise and regular meditation, I feel like a new, stronger version of myself.

I’m extremely grateful to KP for having the organizational wisdom to offer such a great program and would recommend comparable workshops to anyone if you have the chance. I would ALSO recommend a visit to a psychiatrist or psychologist if you are curious about the health of your mind and then sharing what you learn with others. After all, we’re all learning how to deal with this human condition together. And sharing is caring <3

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