The Godmother of BPD

Posted: June 28, 2009 in borderline personality disorder, DBT, Marsha Linehan

Apparently Time Magazine did an article on BPD back in January. Here’s the address:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1870491-1,00.html

The article itself doesn’t bother. The contents don’t either, except its focus on Marsha Linehan, like the Godmother of BPD treatment. My feelings toward Marsha have been quite ambivalent. Her treatment plan–Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT–always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I went through a couple weeks of it and found it so boring and frustrating that the group leader graduated me from the program. I don’t know how I graduated without learning any of the skills, but I just told the doctor I didn’t need it. (It perhaps might help if it wasn’t that hospital’s practice to throw everyone in DBT. Most of the people there were in the class for depression and anxiety, not BPD). In any case, I didn’t learn anything from the program and left with quite hostile feelings toward it. Plenty of others with BPD have talked about how wonderful DBT is. Maybe I’m just unconsciously resistant to it. All I know is I didn’t like it.

So, considering my feelings toward DBT, it’s not hard to believe that I don’t usually take much stock in anything Marsha has to say. But this article focused so much on her and her therapy style. And you know what? I think I might like her. It just made me so sad, and a little nostalgic, to hear how she interacts with her patients. I would love to have a therapist like that! She’s so funny and witty. She uses sarcasm like a good tool. Seeing as I grew up in a very sarcastic family, I always think highly of those who can use it well. It also reminded me of my first therapist, the one who diagnosed me. He really was a sweet guy and if I’m to be totally honest I probably had a slight crush on him. (Even now whenever I see the psychiatrist on Law and Order SVU I smile because he reminds me of him.) But he really did try to understand me and figure out what worked best for me. Yeah there were times that I got angry at him and he did make a mistep, but everybody makes mistakes. I just wish he hadn’t been so quick to get rid of me. As soon as I started getting better he was like, I don’t think you need therapy anymore. And of course I agreed because it was the first time in my life I felt stable and who am I to argue with the doctor?

Unfortunately it seems to be the case often with me. As soon as things start to go uphill, people think I don’t need them anymore and they take off. It makes things really confusing cuz I’m like: do I have to be in a crisis for people to care about me? My husband says it’s because I’m not overdramatic so people aren’t pressured to pay as much attention. Whatever the case my therapist kicked me out of therapy when I should probably be in it for the long haul. But then that’s the problem with HMOs. Always looking for the quick fix and not wanting to deal with any patient who needs long term treatment.

But back to my original point, I really like the person Time painted Marsha Linehan to be. I’d love to have her as my therapist. Unfortunately google search hasn’t shown any therapist with BPD experience in the area, let alone the Godmother. So I guess I’ll have to sit and wonder until my new insurance kicks in and I can find a therapist.

I think it’s funny that I’ll be looking for a therapist before I look for a Primary Care Physician.

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