I walked into the bookstore last Friday with the intent of buying only one book, The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook, on the recommendation of one of my favorite online LMFT’s (Kati Morton — check out her channel for over 500 great mental health videos). I ended up buying a second book — one that I’ve put off buying for many years, The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis. That book was an impulse buy; but in that moment I thought, “I’m investing in my future, my sanity.”
The Courage to Heal was first recommended to me in 1995 by the very first therapist I ever saw. I think I might have gotten a copy of it to glance through from the Honolulu library back then; but I know I didn’t finish reading it, let alone try to work through it. Over the years since, it was the most recommended book by my past therapists and social workers. I haven’t opened it yet. I’m reading the DBT book first. I’m guessing that would be wiser.
I wrote a little about my past experience with a DBT group in an earlier post. That first attempt at DBT didn’t go so well; however now, I can see how it would be beneficial after researching it a bit more. The point of DBT is basically to “improve your ability to handle distress without losing control and acting destructively.” [Source: back cover of the book] Ideally, one would at least work with a therapist or in a group setting to implement the behavioral skills.
I have a workbook.
That’s it. (Not from lack of trying, I might add! How many times do I have to ask for help to make it “count”?)
I seem to do things the hard way; but like I’ve said before, I have to see the big picture before I can focus on the details. It’s how my brain works. If I find myself in dire need, there’s one other mental health center in my area that I found that accepts Safety Net coverage. I’ll use them as an absolute last resort if needed, but I honestly don’t have it in me to try again right now.
My curiosity sidetracked me earlier, asking “What’s a LMFT?” Short answer: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I found a good explanation at “What is a LMFT?” for anyone whose curiosity is also piqued, now. Two quotes on that page stood out to me that I want to share here:
“The expertise which each client brings into counseling is every bit as important as any expertise which the counselor brings.”
“LMFTs understand that each client brings vital and important expertise with them into counseling. That is because each client is the best authority about their own thoughts, perceptions, reactions, feelings, experiences, sensitivities, and their own history.“
In case any of you ever doubt it (including me), let these statements be the truth that speak louder than your inner critic or the voices of stigma that sometimes scream more loudly into the void than our individual, tiny voices could ever carry.
We do matter.