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.
Growing up in the early 1960s, Marsha Linehan was a popular teenager from a big, Catholic family in the Midwest. Then, at the age of eighteen, she began an abrupt downward spiral to a depressed, suicidal, young woman. During several years in a psychiatric institute, Linehan made a vow: if she could get out of hell, she would find a way to help others get out, too. And she did. In this book she tells how she did it, and she says, “If I can do it, you can too.”
This is the inspiring life story of the woman who established the first meaningful therapeutic treatment for some of the most desperate people in the world: individuals suffering from suicidal thoughts and borderline personality disorder. After putting herself through night school and university, living at the YWCA and often scraping together spare change to buy food, Linehan went on to get her PhD in psychology, specializing in behavior therapy. In the 1980s, she achieved a breakthrough when she developed Dialectical Behavior Therapy: a therapeutic approach that combines mindfulness, acceptance of the self, and ways to change.
Throughout her extraordinary scientific career, Linehan remained a woman of deep spirituality, eventually leaving the Catholic Church for the Eastern practice of Zen, and becoming a Zen master. Her powerful and moving story is one of faith and perseverance. Marsha Linehan is living proof that the principles of DBT really work–and that, using her life skills and techniques, people can build a life worth living.