Finished DBT

I was originally meant to be doing the full year of DBT, but due to me passing all my units at uni (yay!) and going on fieldwork next year, I ended up only doing the six months. Which meant I still completed all four modules; mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance, I just won’t be repeating it for the second time round.

I had my last individual DBT therapy session with my psychologist yesterday. When I think about twice when I’ve overdosed/self harmed and ended up in hospital when I had to stop seeing a psychologist, the same when I just thought a psychiatrist was going to stop seeing me, and the rest of the time when I didn’t even properly end with a psychologist, it’s weird not to feel that sense of loss, dread, abandonment and feeling of being ripped apart that I usually feel in ending with a clinician. I guess I just didn’t really feel that sense of connection with her. And it got pretty repetitive and monotonous go go through the same thing every session: diary card, chain analysis, looking at where I could’ve used those DBT skills.

I think I’d feel a much bigger sense of dread and loss when it comes time to be discharged from the mental health clinic and stop seeing my community MH nurse. I was resistant to the idea of seeing a community nurse at the time when I was relapsing with my eating disorder last year, but now that I’ve been seeing her for over a year I’ve come to appreciate being able to just talk to her about whatever’s been going on in my life.

So now that I’ve finished DBT how did I find it? Well perhaps I’m not quite as scathing as I was before starting it. I can see where some of the DBT skills can be helpful when trying to get through a crisis or when trying to deal effectively with other people. At the same time though, I still feel like it doesn’t help me understand myself better on a deeper level and why I feel a certain way then react how I do, and learning the DBT skills doesn’t address if I’m motivated or not to use them in the first place. It’s also quite scary for me that because DBT seems to be regarded as the best damn thing since sliced bread for those who have BPD, now that I’ve completed it, it’s kinda like “Well what now?” So many times when I’ve been in the ED or psych ward, I’ve been told that doing DBT is the solution. Now I’m left wondering “What’s your solution for me now?”

3 thoughts on “Finished DBT

  1. I think you should be given some form of therapy after DBT too. I don’t think it can end so abruptly. I hope something works out.

    And well done on finishing the DBT. It sounds like you worked really hard on it. I hope you can use your skills in daily life and have an easier and happier life…

  2. I can relate to that. I don’t have BPD but I did a DBT skills group for severe depression/suicidality through one cycle. At the time, I continued therapy with my psychodynamic psychiatrist (who did therapy as well as meds), so I had kind of a mix. Though I did feel like some of the DBT skills that seemed more helpful (emotion regulation, crisis management) did not really have a chance to be practiced because my regular therapist did not do DBT. Ultimately, I decided not to do another cycle because it just wasn’t helpful enough. The DBT group leader agreed. I felt (and feel) like a better mix between disciplines might be more helpful then such specialization.

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