You are not alone.
Being on a waitlist for mental health care can feel frustrating and defeating, so we want to offer you these DBT resources. Because of the mental health crisis increased in part by COVID-19, our wait list has mushroomed. You have our word that we will continue to work to solve the barriers on our end—to increase our ability to care for our community. In the meantime, please consider these DBT resources.
Build a Support Team As You Get Started.
It is always helpful to have a support team when doing something hard. Consider who is in your network that wants to support you and may need some direction. See if they are willing to review some of the DBT resources below—to learn with you and celebrate you as you continue your journey.
Start Now. Please Consider Jumping In.
One of the problems of a “wait-list” is that people end up waiting. Not saying this is true of you, but it is true of many. Please consider jumping in. Suffering sucks. The DBT skills are helpful.
- Learn DBT skills from DBT Experts and People with Lived Experience from NowMattersNow.org. This is a free website developed by DBT expert Ursula Whiteside, PhD. It contains dozens of videos for learning DBT skills. Shireen Rizvi, PhD, another expert, and her graduate students have developed fabulous DBT skills training videos from their clinic at Rutgers University.
- Get Marsha’s DBT Skills Training Workbook. It’s easy to read and contains lots of worksheets you can use. All adults participating in our program will work through this book, so you can start now. If you’re a teen or prefer a more fun approach to learning skills, consider the DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents by DBT experts Jill Rathus, PhD, and Alec Miller, PsyD.
- Create a Safety Plan! If you are a person struggling with suicidality, one of the most effective interventions is to develop a safety plan that you can use when you are feeling a lot of distress. Download this sheet. Fill it out. Take a photo of it so it’s with you all the time. Put it where you can easily find it. DBT safety plans, also developed by our Rutgers colleagues, are also available.
- Get Started on Improving Your Sleep: Sleep is super-tied to our emotions and how we feel. Not having good sleep (or simply not sleeping) leaves us vulnerable to negative emotions, suicidality, and acting impulsively. The DBT Skills Training Workbook includes a one-page Sleep Hygiene Protocol (Emotion Regulation Handout 20B) and one-page Nightmare Protocol (Emotion Regulation Handout 20A) to improve your sleep.
- Listen to To Hell and Back Podcast Series by internationally-recognized DBT expert Charlie Swenson, MD. With over 80 free podcasts in this series, it’s an excellent way to deepen your learning and application of DBT.
- Empower Families to Help. Effective family support improves outcomes for all kinds of lifestyle and behavioral problems. Families also need support in knowing how to effectively help their loved one. The National Educational Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD) offers lots of educational resources for families as well as people with BPD. The NEA-BPD Media Center contains lots of video, audio, and text-based resources for people suffering from BPD and their families and loved ones. The Treatment and Research Advances for BPD (TARA4BPD) also offers a number of workshops and other resources for families and people suffering from BPD, including Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change, written by its founder Valerie Porr, MA.
- Hear Marsha M. Linehan’s (DBT Treatment Developer) Story of Hope on NY Times.
Reach Out for Help In a Crisis.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) is available 24/7 and offers free high-quality support for getting through difficult times. If you prefer, you can also text-chat. Family and friends who want to help their loved one who is having a suicide crisis can also call for help, guidance, and support.