Sunday, September 30, 2012

#AskDBT Therapist

As promised here are the questions and answers from this weekends Ask a DBT Therapist on twitter.  I have adjusted some of the acronyms so it's in full sentences and deleted names.  I plan on doing these every other weekend moving forward:

Q: Can you learn  on your own with a workbook? If so what book would you recommend?  I can't find a group in my area.

A:  is best done in groups, but doing it solo would still be valuable. If you have a 1-on-1 therapist only check in w/ diary cards as well as do a workbook.  Regarding books here is My book list of the ones I recommend to clients.   For new, unstable or those with self harm issues I do weekly 1-on-1's and group.  groups include phone coaching too which can be super useful for those needing a higher level of treatment, more accountability or those whom may have difficulty grasping concepts

Q: What is the difference between distracting with DBT and disassociating?

A: Distress Tolerance is about handling turbulence in an airplane piloted by someone else where as Disassociation is jumping out.

Q: any suggestions for films portraying #BPD 

A: Quite a bit and most are foreign films that may be triggering. Here is the list...  Personally I didn't like Girl Interrupted, but it's the American Borderline movie. I have suspicion Angelina Jolie in real life is Borderline.  Bad Timing (UK, 1980) stars Art Garfunkel  involves suicide attempts, flashbacks, trauma, drugs, alcohol & promiscuity.  Never seen it but Young Adult (US, 2012) has rave reviews.  The Dreamlife of Angels (France, 1998) Lesbian love story and it is amazing, well done and just beautiful, won Cannes best actress.  Blue Sky (US, 1994) A tad over-the-top portrayl of almost seems like someone just check listed "Cluster B" traits and made it 2 hours.

Q: How to radically accept someone whom is profiting from hurting me & negatively impacting my future life chances which I am very angry about?

A: According to  there are some situations you don't need to accept and from the sound of it this is abusive- don't accept this.

Q: How do I go about getting DBT?  From what I've seen on here it looks like it would really help me!

A: The big 2 websites to find a therapist are  and  or google "DBT Groups."   Most US cities have 1 or 2 "DBT Groups," which isn't much and few take insurance. I have done 1-on-1 DBT with some clients solo working out of a  workbook. It is a great benefit to begin "self-DBT," my fav books are on my blog.

Q: I have taken  classes what's the difference from 

A: In short DBT is the book and CBT is a chapter; CBT is a form of DBT.   address thoughts and beliefs and  adresses thoughts, beliefs and actions. DBT also includes acceptance and mindfulness.  I think if you have a  mindset, you would get even more benefit from  because you have some of the foundation already.

Q: I just don't know how I will ever heal. Is it even possible? 

A: Yes! I have seen some amazing resilience.  I have worked with people handling Sevre Mental Illness, death of loved ones, caner treatments and severe abuse. It gets better!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

DBT Resources

I am often asked by clients at my full-time position (with whom we don't have DBT-specific groups) what workbooks are best.  Especially since they are going to be doing "self study" and not have the benefit of the group experience.

Here are my top picks for DBT books and other resources:

Amazon Store

Ask a DBT Therapist on Twitter

This weekend I will be facilitating Ask a DBT Therapist on twitter.  People can message me or post #askDBT and I will respond with answers about DBT, BPD and Addiction.  I will post the questions and answers here by Sunday.  If you want your question to remain anonymous direct message me.

Friday, September 28, 2012



I have been working in mental health and addiction since graduation from Graduate School in 2010.  Even though I am newer to the field I have extensive knowledge, drive and passion for working with clients whom have Black and White thinking utilizing Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  I have used DBT in various settings and with a large breadth of clientele including:

  • Gambling Addicts and their significant others
  • Severely Mentally Ill
  • Incarcerated Dual Diagnosis women
  • Diagnosed as Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Severe learning disability/low IQ
I find that the tools I have learned while teaching DBT has been immense and I owe a lot of my coping skills to DBT.  In my spare time I enjoy cooking, reading, any food that involves pumpkin and my Corgi Gordon.

If you would like to contact me you have options:
Guess I also like social media.  Over on  Healing from BPD and on twitter I do a weekly "Ask a DBT Therapist" chat with people asking questions about DBT and receive DBT skill coaching.

I look forward to hopefully being part of your Recovery process,

Alicia Paz M.A. LLPC
Ann Arbor, MI