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NY Area TARA Workshop for people with BPD parents

NY area folks… TARA Workshop on how to support, understand, and help those whose parents have BPD. It is on July 19th from 7:00-9:30 PM.

Tumblr users are turning to this app to resist the urge to self-harm

The main focuses of DBT are mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal learning.

Mental Health Care

Tumblr users are turning to this app to resist the urge to self-harm
By Megan Farokhmanesh
Jan 19, 2018, 1:05pm EST

Tumblr user icantaffordadiary has been going through a difficult time. The Oregon-based teenager has a history of depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts spanning back to their elementary school days. “I’m going through a particularly rough patch right now, and I’ve been self-harming again,” the Tumblr user tells The Verge via DM. But they’ve found comfort in an unusual place: an app called Calm Harm that aims to help users work through their urges.

Calm Harm isn’t a new app; it launched in 2016 before being rebranded in July 2017. Its Google Play and App Store reviews are filled with people thanking its creators, or sharing their own success stories. But the app has found new popularity among Tumblr users, who are spreading the word to better help others. “Just wanted to let u guys know that there’s an app called calm harm that helps u resist the urge to self-harm,” wrote one user. “Please reblog this if you see it,” said another, who goes by ollzlollz. “This is a free app called calm harm and it literally just saved my life.” In a DM to The Verge, ollzlollz says that they discovered the app through a friend’s reblog.

Calm Harm offers a few simple solutions in the form of distraction techniques. The “Breathe” category, for example, will instruct you to exhale and inhale for a minute at at time, with the option to continue for as long as users need to. “Distract” gives you challenges to choose from, like counting backwards in sevens from 100, or thinking up a name for every letter of the alphabet. “The urge to self-harm is like a wave,” the app explains. “It feels the most powerful when you start wanting to do it.” It likens fighting off these urges like surfing on a wave: once you’ve ridden it out, the urge will fade.


Why I called the book “When Hope is Not Enough”

In 2007, I wrote the first edition of When Hope is Not Enough. When considering the title, I landed on this one because it rings true to a person who is a supporter and loved one of a person who meets the criteria of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Back when I wrote the book, there were very few books on the subject (only about 2-3) and the most popular of the books – the one recommended by therapist across my country (US) and which had sold hundreds of thousands of copies – had been ineffective in my life. I just found that the skills offered in that book worked at first and then stopped working abruptly.

When I took at Dialectical Behavior Therapy Family Skills Training (DBT-FST – yes, I know there’s way too many acronyms in this area), I found a new set of skills that provided some additional hope – hope which up until then was absent from my life. Yet, that hope, as fresh as it was, was not enough to heal the hurt and navigate the difficult relationships in my life. Instead, I found I had to refine the skills to make them easier to learn. More importantly, I had to master the skills and actually apply them to my life. Skillful means were more important than hope.

I updated the book in 2015 with a second edition to communicate more skills that I’d picked up in the intervening years and to “structure” the skills to make them even easier to master. I am posting this today because it’s been 10 years since I started writing the book and, in those 10 years, the skills contained therein has radically improved my life and my relationships.

I hope that those skills can help you in your relationships as well.


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and the Buddhist Philosophy

DBT deals with intense and labile emotions. There is a connection between mindfulness and emotion regulation. Mindfulness facilitates adaptive emotion regulation.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and the Buddhist Philosophy

Posted on March 20th, 2017
Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that was developed in late 1970s by Marsha M. Linehan a psychology researcher at the University of Washington (Linehan, 1993). DBT is an empirically supported treatment for suicidal individuals (Linehan et al., 2015). It can be adapted to treat borderline personality disorder patients with comorbid substance-abuse disorder (Koerner & Linehan, 2000) and depressed elderly clients with personality disorders (Lynch et al., 2003). DBT addresses deficits in emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal relationship.

The patients with borderline personality disorder have faulty schemas and splitting in the patient’s relations to others. They have frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Often they have pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships, impulsivity, emotional instability and recurrent suicidal behavior. In addition they are impacted by chronic feelings of emptiness. Borderline personality disorder is treated with psychotherapy and medication. Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Buddhist Psychotherapy are effective in treating borderline personality disorder.

The basis for DBT is stemming from the mindfulness practice of the Buddhist teachings and the philosophy of dialectics. Mindfulness according to the Buddhism is bare attention a sort of non-judgmental, non-discursive attending to the moment-to-moment flow of consciousness (Sharf, 2015). Mindfulness meditation has three overarching purposes: knowing the mind; training the mind; and freeing the mind (Fronsdal, 2006). As described by Palmer (2002) developing the capacity for being mindful and living in the moment allows a greater potential for feeling appropriately in charge of the self.

DBT combines mindful awareness largely derived from Buddhist meditative practice. Kirmayer (2015) concluded that Mindfulness meditation and other techniques drawn from Buddhism have increasingly been integrated into forms of psycho-therapeutic intervention. Since the 1990s, mindfulness meditation has been applied to multiple mental and physical health conditions, and has received much attention in psychological research (Tang & Posner, 2013). Mindfulness has been described as a practice of learning to focus attention on moment-by moment experience with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance (Marchand, 2012) Schmidt (2004) states that mindfulness is strongly related to compassion, and it is compassion that serves as a source for all healing intentionality. Both mindfulness and self-compassion involve promoting an attitude of curiosity and non-judgment towards one’s experiences (Raab, 2014). The core mindfulness skills (focus, compassion, curiosity, inner calm, balance, and awareness) lead to serenity.


Selena Gomez on Instagram Fatigue, Good Mental Health, and Stepping Back From the Limelight

“DBT has completely changed my life,” she says. “I wish more people would talk about therapy. We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back, the girl who’s down. We also need to feel allowed to fall apart.”

Selena Gomez on Instagram Fatigue, Good Mental Health, and Stepping Back From the Limelight
MARCH 16, 2017 7:01 AM


On an unusually wet and windy evening in Los Angeles, Selena Gomez shows up at my door with a heavy bag of groceries. We’ve decided that tonight’s dinner will be a sort of tribute to the after-church Sunday barbecues she remembers from her Texan childhood. I already have chicken simmering in green salsa, poblano peppers blackening on the flames of the stove, and red cabbage wilting in a puddle of lime juice. All we need are Gomez’s famous cheesy potatoes—so bad they’re good, she promises. She sets down her Givenchy purse and brings up, in gaudy succession, a frozen package of Giant Eagle Potatoes O’Brien, a can of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup, a bag of shredded “Mexican cheese,” and a squat plastic canister of French’s Crispy Fried Onions.

“I bet you didn’t think we were going to get this real,” she says, and when I tell her that real isn’t the first word that springs to mind when faced with these ingredients, she responds with the booming battle-ax laugh that offers a foretaste of Gomez’s many enchanting incongruities.

But real is precisely what I was expecting from the 24-year-old Selena, just as her 110 million Instagram followers (Selenators, as they’re known) have come to expect it. Of course, celebrity’s old codes are long gone, MGM’s untouchable eggshell glamour having given way to the “They’re Just Like Us!” era of documented trips to the gas station and cellulite captured by telephoto lenses. But Gomez and her ilk have gone further still, using their smartphones to generate a stardom that seems to say not merely “I’m just like you” but “I am you.”

“People so badly wanted me to be authentic,” she says, laying a tortilla in sizzling oil, “and when that happened, finally, it was a huge release. I’m not different from what I put out there. I’ve been very vulnerable with my fans, and sometimes I say things I shouldn’t. But I have to be honest with them. I feel that’s a huge part of why I’m where I am.” Gomez traces her shift toward the unfiltered back to a song she released in 2014 called “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” a ballad about loving a guy she knows is bad news.

She sees her shrink five days a week and has become a passionate advocate of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a technique developed to treat borderline personality disorder that is now used more broadly, with its emphasis on improving communication, regulating emotions, and incorporating mindfulness practices. “DBT has completely changed my life,” she says. “I wish more people would talk about therapy. We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back, the girl who’s down. We also need to feel allowed to fall apart.”


Alan Fruzzetti speaks at McLean on Family Skills and Family Interactions with BPD