Many clients feel that if they have mental health difficulties, they are somehow damaged or even worthless. They may feel hopeless believing that they will never have what it takes to contribute meaningfully to the world. I sometimes like to share with these clients the story of Dr. Marsha Linehan, a story that I find personally inspiring and beautiful. Dr. Linehan is a psychologist and researcher at the University of Washington, and the creator of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Her contributions to our evidence-based treatments have been truly enormous. Dr. Linehan, now in her 70s, recently revealed that she herself struggled with severe mental health difficulties in her youth, to the extent that she required a significant amount of time as a psychiatric inpatient. Her revelation was featured in the New York Times and can be found here http://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/health/23lives.html. I find Dr. Linehan’s story to be a beautiful example of turning one’s own suffering into meaning and a positive impact on the world. I encourage you to read more about her journey.
By Dr. Tatiana Bielak, C. Psych
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