Marsha Linehan tells the story of her journey from suicidal teenager to world-renowned developer of the life-saving behavioral therapy DBT, using her own struggle to develop life skills for others. "This book is a victory on both sides of the page."--Gloria Steinem
"Are you one of us?" a patient once asked Marsha Linehan, the world-renowned psychologist who developed Dialectical Behavior Therapy. "Because if you were, it would give all of us so much hope."
Over the years, DBT had saved the lives of countless people fighting depression and suicidal thoughts, but Linehan had never revealed that her pioneering work was inspired by her own desperate struggles as a young woman. Only when she received this question did she finally decide to tell her story.
In this remarkable and inspiring memoir, Linehan describes how, when she was eighteen years old, she began an abrupt downward spiral from popular teenager to suicidal young woman. After several miserable years in a psychiatric institute, Linehan made a vow that if she could get out of emotional hell, she would try to find a way to help others get out of hell too, and to build a life worth living. She went on to put herself through night school and college, living at a YWCA and often scraping together spare change to buy food. She went on to get her PhD in psychology, specializing in behavior therapy. In the 1980s, she achieved a breakthrough when she developed Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a therapeutic approach that combines acceptance of the self and ways to change. Linehan included mindfulness as a key component in therapy treatment, along with original and specific life-skill techniques. She says, You can't think yourself into new ways of acting; you can only act yourself into new ways of thinking.
Throughout her extraordinary scientific career, Marsha Linehan remained a woman of deep spirituality. Her powerful and moving story is one of faith and perseverance. Linehan shows, in Building a Life Worth Living
, how the principles of DBT really work--and how, using her life skills and techniques, people can build lives worth living.
About the Author
Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, is the developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy and a professor of psychology, adjunct professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and director of the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics at the University of Washington. Her primary research interest is in the development and evaluation of evidence-based treatments for populations with high suicide risk and multiple severe mental disorders. Dr. Linehan's contributions to suicide research and clinical psychology research have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation, the Scientific Research Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Career/Lifetime Achievement award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. In 2018, Dr. Linehan was featured in a special issue of Time magazine, "Great Scientists: The Geniuses and Visionaries Who Transformed Our World."