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 the 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.

Building a Life Worth Living Details

TitleBuilding a Life Worth Living
Author
ReleaseJan 7th, 2020
PublisherRandom House
ISBN-139780812994612
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Psychology, Health, Mental Health, Self Help, Biography

Building a Life Worth Living Review

  • Delany
    January 1, 1970
    It’s a fine autobiography of and by Marsha Linehan, one of my personal heroes in the field of psychology/psychotherapy. I’m a psychologist who once worked with patients diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (and I grew up with a mother with BPD), so I have much experience with the suffering that these individuals live with and, often, inflict on others. Marsha survived the kind of descent into hell that is characteristic of these patients, but/and she found her way out and vowed to use It’s a fine autobiography of and by Marsha Linehan, one of my personal heroes in the field of psychology/psychotherapy. I’m a psychologist who once worked with patients diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (and I grew up with a mother with BPD), so I have much experience with the suffering that these individuals live with and, often, inflict on others. Marsha survived the kind of descent into hell that is characteristic of these patients, but/and she found her way out and vowed to use her life to help bring others out of that same hell. And she fulfilled her vow with the development of the first truly effective therapeutic method for these patients. The components of the interventions she uses are designed to allow the patients to build for themselves, with the help of a well-trained therapist, a life worth living. Research clearly indicates that her method works. The only “downer” in this story is something Marsha did not directly address, which is the fact that traditional PhD and MD training is not adequate to produce psychotherapists who are competent to use this type of therapy (the same is true for master’s level therapists). There is a HUGE disconnect in our nation between the enormous need for competent psychotherapists, and the institutions that actually provide the training and do the licensing. The truth is that most psychotherapists of all disciplines graduate and get licensed without ever having received the kind of training and supervision that is required to produce a competent therapist. And few people talk about it; personally, I did my best to address this while I was teaching at a small university with a master’s degree program in counseling; my efforts were not welcomed with open arms. The prevailing view in those institutions is that the old form of training was good enough.
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  • Bethany Vaughn
    January 1, 1970
    As a teen, Marsha Linehan experienced suicidal ideation and was sent to an institution for the mentally unwell. Toward the end of her time there, she made a vow to God that once she got herself out of hell, she would do everything she could to get others out, too. DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), is what Marsha created as her best effort to keep her vow and help patients with suicidal behavior. She is so intelligent and dedicated to helping others! I thought this book has such a powerful As a teen, Marsha Linehan experienced suicidal ideation and was sent to an institution for the mentally unwell. Toward the end of her time there, she made a vow to God that once she got herself out of hell, she would do everything she could to get others out, too. DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), is what Marsha created as her best effort to keep her vow and help patients with suicidal behavior. She is so intelligent and dedicated to helping others! I thought this book has such a powerful viewpoint. It was very interesting to read of a therapist who has suffered from the same challenges that her patients are experiencing. This book is great for fans of psychology or memoir.Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for gifting me this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Lisa Wiegand
    January 1, 1970
    A goodreads giveaway win that I was actually looking forward to reading. The book is an interesting one detailing the development of DBT thereapy for suicidal people who have borderline personality disorder. I enjoyed reading about the development of the most effective treatment for these conditions - especially since it is the true life story of someone who actually struggled with the disorder that developed the protocol. Her writing is a bit scattered - but the description of the process was A goodreads giveaway win that I was actually looking forward to reading. The book is an interesting one detailing the development of DBT thereapy for suicidal people who have borderline personality disorder. I enjoyed reading about the development of the most effective treatment for these conditions - especially since it is the true life story of someone who actually struggled with the disorder that developed the protocol. Her writing is a bit scattered - but the description of the process was fascinating. I especially liked the fact that there were some helpful guides in the back of the book. Worth reading. I would have given it 4 stars - but the writing style was not comfortable for me to read.
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  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    This was a good memoir about Marsha and how she created DBT therapy. It helped me learn more about DBT overall as well as how the author used her own experiences to create it and help a lot of people. I would reccomend this book to anyone who is considering DBT therapy or just beginning it. I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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  • Jreader
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a DBT therapist for about 15 years. One of my former coworkers was sent this book by the publisher to read and review. I sent the publisher an email and asked for a copy as well, citing trainings I had done as a participant and facilitator, reviews of books pertaining to DBT which I had read, and even included a photo of me with Marsha from a training in Seattle. The book came yesterday, I read it in one sitting and immediately purchased a copy through Amazon so I could loan it out.I I have been a DBT therapist for about 15 years. One of my former coworkers was sent this book by the publisher to read and review. I sent the publisher an email and asked for a copy as well, citing trainings I had done as a participant and facilitator, reviews of books pertaining to DBT which I had read, and even included a photo of me with Marsha from a training in Seattle. The book came yesterday, I read it in one sitting and immediately purchased a copy through Amazon so I could loan it out.I tried not to do my normal reading thing--make notes in pencil, annotate specific quotes in a small notebook, and make a list of other books to read--but resorted to this by page 75. I also was making apple butter with pecans so had wonderful aromas in the kitchen as well as a pot of strong coffee. Then, to make the mood absolutely perfect--had my Alexa speaker play Adele. I think Marsha would have enjoyed that.I have been fortunate to participate in trainings with Marsha and to have staffed clients with her. She used to have students from her intensive trainings over for dinner at her house. It was absolutely wonderful to walk around arm-in-arm with her and have her tell me kind thoughts and wish me well with my clients. That was really one of my life's highlights.Around 2012 I was doing a DBT group with adolescent girls. One 12 year old asked if possibly Marsha was 'one of us?' I asked her what she meant by that, why did she think so? And the child said it was because she seemed to know exactly what we had been through. I nodded and told them about the NY Times article and brought it in the following week. When I had met Marsha her arms still bore severe scarring.On page 176 Marsha talks about using occasional strategic helplessness--which had me laughing out loud. When my oldest daughter was 18, the car made a funny noise and we pulled off road. She asked how we would get some help? I knew this kid was going to be moving out and on her own and I suggested she pop the hood and look forlornly at the engine--said some man would be by in about 5 minutes to help us out. Yes. I did that even after having come up in the 70's and having been told no most of my life--I have used occasional strategic helplessness to my advantage. On page 272 there is a remarkable awareness of the misery shared by many borderline clients which Marsha identifies as being homesick. How poignant. What an apt description.There is a brilliant quote by Rainer Maria Rilke that should be on the wall of all DBT therapists, at least 4 other books I want to look up. Much of the information on skills and research was familiar to me. It was fun to go to the ISITDBT conference and see many of the DBT rock stars. Many DBT therapists are gifted trainers and have helped thousands of people over the course of their work. Marsha is a solid human being who has made the most of what was given to and made available to her. She is a remarkable human being. She loves her clients and her work. If the level of DBT experience and capability was identified by the seat number you were given at the world's largest stadium--I would probably be at home watching the event on TV. Still, Marsha makes everyone feel they have a seat at the head table.One last thing. I grew up in Connecticut and our mother was at the Institute of Living on several occasions--also in the 1960s into the early 1970s. While it was a renowned hospital, it was unpleasant. Shock treatments and cold packs were often the norm and no one spoke of mental illness. Marsha's development of biosocial theory and her path to wellness are earned. This book would be validating to persons with borderline personality disorder, their family members, therapists who provide DBT services, and especially those who may work with persons with borderline personality disorder who do not share the love of those suffering. Thank you, Marsha. We love you.
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  • Kimberly Simpson
    January 1, 1970
    This memoir shows the beauty and power of the wounded healer. Not only did she use her pain to singlehandedly advance mental health treatment, but she bravely risked all of that to inspire others through this same story. I was especially moved by the parts about her spiritual path. The quote, “I eventually learned that when it comes to spirituality, the more you actively want it, the less likely it is to happen. You have to throw yourself into your life as it is, and be open to whatever might be This memoir shows the beauty and power of the wounded healer. Not only did she use her pain to singlehandedly advance mental health treatment, but she bravely risked all of that to inspire others through this same story. I was especially moved by the parts about her spiritual path. The quote, “I eventually learned that when it comes to spirituality, the more you actively want it, the less likely it is to happen. You have to throw yourself into your life as it is, and be open to whatever might be” or said another way in the book, “You can’t think yourself into new ways of acting; you can only act yourself into new ways of thinking”. Great Book!
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  • Cindy Bokma
    January 1, 1970
    If you have not heard of DBT, look it up immediately. This is a form of therapy that has the potential to benefit everyone. I have been through it and use the skills all the time. Marsha created this particular therapy to help suicidal patients. I've read a lot about dialectical behavior therapy but didn't know about the woman behind it. Marsha is so intelligent and dedicated to helping others, this book was a fascinating look at how she came up with this therapy plus her own past and struggles. If you have not heard of DBT, look it up immediately. This is a form of therapy that has the potential to benefit everyone. I have been through it and use the skills all the time. Marsha created this particular therapy to help suicidal patients. I've read a lot about dialectical behavior therapy but didn't know about the woman behind it. Marsha is so intelligent and dedicated to helping others, this book was a fascinating look at how she came up with this therapy plus her own past and struggles.If you enjoy psychology or are familiar with DBT, this is a book for you!
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  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    What an excellent book. I didn’t know about DBT prior to reading it, but the moment I mentioned it to my therapist, she lit up. “So Linehan is a big deal?” I asked, prompting strong nods from her. It’s personal, helpful, informative, and moving. A woman who found herself in hell and vowed to get out and then help others find the way out too.
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  • Heather Bennett
    January 1, 1970
    Building a Life Worth Living is a interesting and informative book. DBT therapy is a great therapy that has helped thousands of people. This is a well written book and it would to give those interested in DBT.
  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    As of 12/11/19 still no book to review.
  • M.
    January 1, 1970
    It was a good read.
  • Wendy Lu
    January 1, 1970
    So unexpected!
  • Laura Hancock
    January 1, 1970
    Now I hope she writes a book on Zen Buddhism.
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