Building a Life Worth Living: A Memoir

March 15, 2020 - Comment

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

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.

Comments

Anonymous says:

10,000 Gold Stars! 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. I read it in one sitting and immediately purchased a copy through Amazon so I could loan it out.I tried not…

Anonymous says:

FOR ALL SEEKERS FOR A BUILDING A LIFE WORTH LIVING Please buy this book. Anyone who is stuck in depression. Experiences recurring depression or If you are emotionally stuck but have the ability to use your intellect to sort through your problems, get this book. Very compelling. The author refers alot to the most damaged patients, but anyone needing skills to function in this world will benefit from this book.

Anonymous says:

A book that will change lives With this memoir, Marsha Linehan enters the pantheon of great American folk heroes. Marsha stands alongside Bill W. and Dr. Bob, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, all of whom suffered deeply, and embarked on a quest to find a path out of hell, first for themselves, and then for others. To her credit, and to the world’s good fortune, Marsha Linehan’s commitment included a rigorous commitment to a scientific psychology.Few people can match Marsha’s sheer grit and determination…

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