Ignorance is not bliss. As most of us are painfully aware of. What we do not know on a subject does not prevent negative consequences from happening. So our best defense to the world around us is education.
We educate ourselves on the advancement of technology, the latest software at our work; perhaps we have educated ourselves on parenting, and definitely we have educated ourselves to improve our careers, our ability to read, write and ultimately everything around us is an opportunity to learn.
As with mental health. So my husband, AJ, and I decided that what we would like to do most would be to share this education with whomever we can. We are your peers, those with mental illness and those that are family/friends/support systems of those with mental illness. Honestly, in reality the person with the mental illness is suffering as well as the loved ones supporting him/her. However, the benefits of this peer-support education goes beyond that. Every one of us can improve on our quality of life by educating ourselves on the basic tools used in D.B.T.
Please be very sure that we are not licensed therapists, we did not come up with the DBT program. DBT is the product of a lot of hard work by Marsha Linehan and others. We have however educated ourselves in DBT. It was so functional for our family, it changed our lives so much that we felt compelled to share it with others. I personally took a course at Portland DBT in Portland, OR. I then followed up with a program at Community Services Northwest in Vancouver, WA. These programs may be hard to obtain, too costly, or many may not have the circumstances to obtain them; our contribution to this was to take what we have spent in time and money to get, to the internet! We do recommend that peer-support participants seek professional help if they feel they need to, or at the very least please understand that this endeavor of ours does not replace professional help.
What you can expect from My DBT Life is frequent updates throughout the week. Each Sunday, I will focus on a "Skill of the Week", offering diagrams, worksheets or just simply a detail explanation of a specific DBT skill. Throughout the rest of the week, my posts will be more of a personal nature of what DBT looks like in my life. These posts will always feature a skill and will be open for discussion inside the forum where a member can comment and share for themselves. This peer-support is not about me, it is about My DBT Life, and how sharing these experiences with one another helps us both grow and learn.
We invite you to come to our forum and take advantage of the conversation and mutual interchange of encouragement, plus our twice weekly scheduled groups on-line! All of this works with my effort and diligence and your effort and diligence combined. As I have said above, we are your peers; AJ and I have four fabulous children and I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This puts us in a unique position, education and commonality. We know the struggles you are having, we struggle with them too. This life change you are about to make is continual. We never stop learning, practicing, changing and we will do it all together. We gladly look forward to meeting each of you, and helping you to get through what is perhaps some of your darkest times in your lives. Thank you for letting us be a part of this with you!