Building a Life Worth Living
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.
In this powerful and intimate memoir, psychologist Linehan shares the history of her own mental illness as well as the development of her treatment for suicidal individuals, called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Her memoir follows her "descent into hell" with mental illness, her spiritual evolution (raised a Catholic, she becomes a self-described Zen master), and her work as a research professor. She writes of her youth in Tulsa, Okla., as one of six children born to an oil executive and his wife, who was active in their community. At 18, Linehan entered a deep depression and became suicidal; her parents committed her to a mental institution, where she engaged in self-burning and self-cutting, was heavily medicated, placed in seclusion for 12 weeks, and received shock therapy. Linehan made a vow to help others like herself, and after two years she was released and became a psychologist, ultimately developing DBT by combining practical life skills, Zen teachings, and behavior therapy. Linehan ably guides readers along her roller-coaster life as she conquers the male-dominated world of academia while hiding her physical and emotional scars. In spite of challenges, the author was determined and optimistic: "You can't think yourself into new ways of acting; you can only act yourself into new ways of thinking." Readers looking to overcome their past will find inspiration in this dramatic, heartfelt narrative.
I knew she was wonderful, but she was made even more wonderful by writing this lovely book.
Un verdadero tesoro este libro.