When You Neglect Your DBT Skills

Almost all of the DBT skills I’ve learned have been done 100% on my own. I was lucky enough to attend a small group therapy at the local mental health center, where we went over some skills which definitely tie in with DBT, but unfortunately I have been told I am coping well and don’t need the actual DBT class, so I’ve done it all on my own. Over the last (almost) 4 years I have got quite the collection of DBT books, PDF’s, diagrams and much more. So I can learn them on my own, but the thing with DBT is that you can’t just do each exercise once and expect to be done and retain the skill for later. And some of the skills and exercises are a bit tough to do completely on your own, at least for me. Sometimes it’s really handy to have someone let you know how you could improve how you’re doing something, or suggest alternative methods that might not be in the books, etc. And it’s always nice to have someone in your life who is seeing the hard work you’re putting in and making note of your progress.

In my journey coming to terms with my BPD I haven’t had much of that outside support. Sure, my family is supportive but they don’t really understand at the same time. I can tell them I remembered to use a skill today during a tough time and how proud I am of myself, and they can pat me on the back and say I did a good job, but they don’t understand how big of a deal that can actually be sometimes. There are some skills I can do now without even thinking, but there are still a lot that fall by the wayside so when I realize I used a skill in a situation and did it quite successfully, it’s really nice to have someone other than yourself recognize the effort and how far you’ve gone to get to where you’re at.

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