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Borderline Personality Disorder And Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

1606 words - 7 pages

Ever since entering the field of Social Work, I have been exposed to many disorders, therapies, frameworks, and strategies in my studies. My worldview for much of my life had been that I would never need to use any of the treatments or skills, because I was not “broken”, or “too underprivileged” to have gained the education to “know better”. But, as I progressed through my education, I have come to realize that everybody is constantly learning and using acquired skills to function better in everyday life. For myself, I found the skills within Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) treatment to best addressed the areas I was lacking.
DBT was originally developed to focus on individuals ...view middle of the document...

Many skills have also been reported to be helpful when modified and used as a standalone for other psychological disorders as well (i.e. binge eating and chronic, recurring depression in older adults). It was through this notion that I slowly came to understand that DBT skills could help me work through my struggles. It also was at the advice of my previous instructor (from the Confederation College Social Service Worker Program). I occasionally would talk to her when I was feeling overwhelmed, and as per her advice I specifically researched the emotion regulation module. However for the purpose of this paper, I will review all four modules, and offer insight as to how they impacted me individually.
According to the creator of DBT, Marsha Linehan, the goal of mindfulness is defined as a skill to “help clients balance emotional mind and reasonable mind, to develop a sense of being present in the moment (Linehan, 1993a). Because mindfulness is intertwined within each of the other three modules, it is best to have a good understanding of the importance and usefulness of mindfulness while practicing DBT. The main focus of using mindfulness is to “help balance emotion regulation and attend to symptoms as they arise” (Linehan, 1993b). This was helpful for me to balance my own mind when I was experiencing chaos. While I struggled with living in an invalidating environment, it was hard for me to make sound judgments while overthinking about whatever problem I had at hand. I felt like I could not trust my own judgments. My mind would race with the voice, tone, and/or attitude, which others spoke to me and I tried to make sense of what their message meant. I would entertain every thought that entered my mind, and panicked when I could not center myself to understand what was occurring in reality. With so many thoughts swimming in my mind, I would make up scenarios that I thought would play out, simply in hopes of being prepared for anything. Because of this, I was often in a state of constant anxiety and was unable to simply relax and let things happen. A specific mindfulness exercise (which I practiced) was to observe an experience I was currently in (i.e. washing dishes) and simply notice it. Next, I described the experience by putting names to my feelings (i.e. “I am bored”, or “the warm water and bubbles are soothing”). Finally, the third part was to simply participate. Rather than washing dishes while thinking about my homework, or a conversation I had earlier that day, all I needed to do was focus on washing the dishes. These three segments (observe, describe, participate) make up the “what” skills of the core mindfulness skills. While doing these, I was also required to use the “how” skills. These skills were to firstly allow myself to think non-judgmentally. When another thought unrelated to washing dishes entered my mind, I was to acknowledge that it was there, but then push it away. Second, I was to concentrate my mind, so I could do things...

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