by Musarat Yusufali LCSW
I remember eons ago (or that’s what it seems like to me now), I was walking and talking to a colleague about being interested in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and wanting to specialize in that. Now that I think back to that time, I had no idea what I was talking about or didn’t even know why I wanted to get into DBT. In my young mind, I was attracted by the skills that it aimed to teach and created the change people wanted. I had no idea that it actually had some basis to it.
Fast forward to today, I have done training in DBT through the Behavior Tech organization founded by Marsha Linehan, I have utilized DBT in group settings with adults, adolescents and parents and I use it in my private practice all the time. DBT is a treatment protocol that was created by Marsha Linehan that integrates acceptance and change based therapy models to treat chronic suicidal ideation and self-injurious behaviors.
As you may be familiar, Dialectical Behavior Therapy is very effective for clients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or traits of BPD. In our clinical jargon, it’s an evidence based protocol for treating patients that have high rates of suicidal ideation, self-injurious behavior and life destroying behaviors. Usually DBT treatment consistents of a treatment team that are all versed in DBT values and may include an individual DBT therapist, a group DBT therapist, a family liason or parent coach, a psychiatrist and other providers as needed.
For me, the biggest research that I found to be fascinating is the research around just adding DBT coping skills into a person’s regular therapy routine and the effectiveness it had on treatment outcomes. The PhD folks, who like numbers and data, conducted 11 research studies where they only added DBT skills component and they found it supported participants in reducing emotional dysregulation, anxiety symptoms, anger outbursts and depression. They even found, DBT skills only helped adults manage their ADHD symptoms, reduce binge eating behaviors, and reduction in drinking to cope among college students.
So imagine, you have a new client come in and they tell you they have been self-injuring for the last few years and they haven’t told anyone. This is usually what happens with several teens I work with, now what are you going to do? They tell you, they don’t know what else to do. Self-injuring makes them feel better. Imagine if you can have the DBT skill set in your knowledge base, you can immediately give this teen one or two coping skills they can start working with. If you later decide this teen would benefit from a DBT skills group in the community, they can attend group while continuing to do individual therapy with you and this treatment protocol will be more effective for them.
This is why I love DBT skills so much. I personally think DBT skills are like the floaters when someone is learning to swim, using a floater can help someone gain their confidence while they are learning to use their muscles of the feet as well as learn how to let go of their fear and learn to float. DBT skills gives the person a structure and method to deal with their external and internal struggles (a float) while they continue to work on deeper strengths (building a secure attachment, self-confidence, self-awareness).
Let me know what questions you have about DBT, reach out with an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Dr. Griesemer
After talking to our wise Community Coordinator, Abi, I couldn't get the idea out of my head. Growing a business really IS like giving birth... So, I thought I'd talk to you about the Birth Canal of Business.
You're familiar with this, right? Starting a business is just like having a baby...
Business Pregnancy - You've decided it's gonna happen. You're going to take the jump. You're going to start working for yourself! You've been thinking about it for a long time and you're actually going to do it. It's exciting, and you're thrilled. Maybe sometimes a little nauseous. Overall, though, you are really looking forward to finally "getting there" and having your business baby.
Business Labor - This is when it's actually happening. After waiting and planning and saving money and getting things ready, it's time. You've put your money where your mouth is. You've bought all the shiny fancy things and set up the room. You have all the equipment. You spent all that money and time getting ready. Nesting is done. And now... you're doing it. You're starting your business.
But at the labor stage, there's a lot of waiting. The waiting isn't fun. It's painful. Sometimes, intensely painful. Sometimes, intensely worrying. In fact, it starts feeling worse. And worse. You suddenly want to bail out. Maybe this was a mistake. Maybe you can just tell them you're done and changed your mind.
At one point, you literally think you are dying.
After intense, searing pain, and unbearable tightness, your business leaves your business birth canal and...
Business Birth - Relief! You get the clients you've been waiting for... you get the contract you wanted... it actually starts to happen! You have a business! Angels sing! The clouds part to sunshine! You are AMAZING! You can do ANYTHING!
4th Trimester Business - Okay, maybe not anything. The 4th trimester is when it gets hard again after it felt better. You're still healing and a little wobbly. You're working harder than you thought you'd have to and are exhausted. No one told you how freaking HARD this was going to be. Everyone made it seem SO EASY.
Things aren't going the way you had pictured: clients are cancelling after a session with you, or maybe call and then don't book. The first rush of clients you had are still coming, but you NEED MORE. This is exhausting! Things are not as fun as you want them to be!
Business Infancy - Things start leveling out some... there are ups and downs... but overall you're getting the hang of it. You're still crazy anxious at times, but less and less so. You have built a support system around you that helps to normalize that no one actually knows what the fuck is going on and you're just doing your damned best. Things are feeling more predictable, more manageable, but still scary at times.
You still have bouts of "I suck at this" but you're starting to understand that these feelings come and then they go. That everyone in your place feels these feelings. The feelings themselves start to be less scary.
Business Childhood - Things level out... everything settles down. In fact, at some point, you might think about taking more vacations away from your business... and maybe even doing things outside of work that are unrelated to your business kid. You might even think about having another! ;)
We all go through these stages. And though we never know entirely what to expect... you can always expect change...reach out to your fellow members to make sure you are getting the support you need on your practices ups and downs!