Group Success at Different Centre

Well, today I did my group at a Peer Support Centre in a different town about an hour away.  I was told by the lady who runs the centre plus the worker who drove me there that I did a great job.  There were a few extra people there so I was pretty nervous, but I think I did very well.  I am a really quiet person by nature but I spoke loudly enough for everyone to hear me.  I provided everyone with a few handouts in duotangs for them to keep.  One lady said that they could keep hers at the Centre in case anyone wanted to look at it.  I thought that was a great idea.

They want me to come back maybe once a month and run my group.  That would be great!  It would be even better if it was once a week, but I’ll take whatever I can get.  The Peer Support worker who drove me there also brought a couple of other ladies – one who regularly attends and a new lady.

I’m already thinking about what I can do for the next group.  I think I have a topic picked out.  Wish me luck!  Thanks,

– Joyce.

Borderline Personality Disorder & Suicide Threats: Deconstructing the Manipulation Myth

Originally posted on DBT Peer Connections:

I would like to deconstruct the myth that people who have borderline personality disorder (BPD) and attempt to commit suicide or otherwise harm themselves in response to fears of abandonment are somehow manipulative. I think this is a common misconception that further stigmatizes persons with BPD and likewise prevents loved ones who might otherwise be supportive from acting in ways that are empathic, assertive, firm but kind, and where setting clear boundaries based upon facts over feelings would serve a better purpose. Now you may think it counter intuitive to think that suicidal threats are not manipulative. However, I think it is extremely important that we understand the differences between feelings associated with suicidal behavior, intent, and the factors that reinforce suicidal behavior.

The 2 following paragraphs by Marsha Linehan, BPD’s foremost expert and originator of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), an evidence based treatment for BPD, suicidal behavior, eating disorders…

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Radical Acceptance Living In the Present, Letting go of Past Mindfulness, CBT, DBT

Originally posted on emuseclub:

Radical Acceptance does not mean we accept as in approve of or validate every bad thing that happened to us but that we are okay with slowing down and accepting the events as being in the past without necessarily reacting to the intentions or bad effects behind the events.. a way of breaking down our memory to accept and watch with detachment instead of reaction. It is a way of reminding ourself that the event is in the past, we do not have to go into fight or flight mode.. we can accept merely that it happened and it is in the past and we have today right now to examine.  It makes it easier to not bring the emotion and sometimes overwhelming emotional energy into the present to relive the past, but instead to slow down and accept and acknowledge it is past. Our brain in an agitated state, cannot…

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*Book Reviews* Polly Fielding Books

Titles:  “And This Is My Adopted Daughter” and “Crossing The Borderline:  Inside A Therapeutic Community”  by Polly Fielding

The first book describes Polly’s life being brought up by a very invalidating adoptive mother.  No matter how hard she tries to please her, she never succeeds.  At first, things are fine, then they turn sour.  Her father is no help to her.  Polly always comes in second to her mother’s “real” daughter.  They adopt another baby, further invalidating Polly.  She tries to raise her kids to feel the love that she never felt from her adopted mother.  She attempts to find her biological mother.  I won’t spoil for you what happens but you’ll want to find out for yourself.

The second book looks at her life inside a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) program.  She uses a lot of mindfulness throughout the book.  It doesn’t use a lot of the same techniques that we used in my DBT program, but it was interesting to read about Polly’s experience in therapy.

In both books, I could feel Polly’s sadness from such an upbringing.  By the end of the second book, Polly emerges triumphantly from the clutches of mental illness, still fighting but now knowing some tools to help her in the fight for wellness.

These books are a very hard read at times and may be triggering, so read with caution.  If you really want to know what it’s like to live with Borderline Personality Disorder, this book will show you.  It’s not for the faint of heart, though.

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Dialectical Dilemmas of Extreme Emotional States in People with BPD

Originally posted on DBT Peer Connections:

A defining feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is extreme, intense, and long-lasting emotions and an inability to recognize, label, and process such emotions. Therefore, people with BPD tend to move back and forth between extreme emotional states that leave them and those around them exhausted, overwhelmed, and uncertain of how to resolve unending crises.

Dialectical Dilemmas of Extreme Emotional States

The following describes 3 common sets of emotional extremes people with BPD vacillate between. The term dialectical dilemma refers to the ongoing goal for the affected and willing person with BPD is to synthesize a balance between each extreme state as they occur.

  • Vulnerability versus Self-invalidation
  • Unrelenting Crises versus Inhibiting Emotions
  • Active passivity versus apparent competence


  • Active Passivity – Feeling helpless, wanting and/or asking others to solve one’s problems
  • Apparent Competence – Excessive independence, not seeking help from others or admitting to needing it
  • Inhibiting Emotions – Blocking/invalidating…

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Originally posted on Cerebral Fog Lights:

The most profound symptom of my BPD, and the one that led to my eventual diagnosis, is the ever-present mood swings. It seems as if these are present alongside almost all of the other symptoms. To review, one of the DSM-5 criteria is as follows:

“Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).”

Earlier in life, I had been diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder. While I do think that the anxiety remains, the depressive states are characterized by shorter and more intense periods, in contrast to the weeks-long lows that major depressive disorder can cause. ADHD can also cause mood swings, but I did not meet all of the criteria for this during one of my diagnosis sessions.

Mood swings can be debilitating and frightening. I can…

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Presentation in New Town on Friday!

I’m going to be doing a presentation/group on BPD in another town at one of the other Peer Support Centres on Friday.  I’m so excited but nervous!  I’ve never done one at another centre before.  I’m not sure what to expect.  They say it’s a little smaller centre than ours.  We have a separate room that we run some of our groups in, but they don’t have that there.  That’s okay.  It’ll be fine, I’m sure.

I’d love it if they enjoy the group and would like to join it regularly.  Right now, there’s only one person who shows up regularly.  I’ll be getting a ride with one of the staff, someone who just got hired a little while ago.  They just hired a bunch of new people for all the centres.  They’re going to be doing stuff out in the community.

Wish me luck Friday!  Thanks for reading,

– Joyce.

From Loving to Hating to Loving Again

Originally posted on Living with Borderline Personality Disorder:

I wrote this immediately after therapy today:

I feel so shit after therapy with J and fucking angry at her for how she approached our session.

Just before our session I received an email from [my old therapist] ‘W’ [who I worked with in treatment in Boston]. The email triggered my ‘attachment’-based sensitivity on an emotional, mental and physiological level: I felt angry, upset, confused, happy, sad, nostalgic, shaky, you name it…
So I planned to speak to J about it immediately because I felt paralysed within the ‘Emotion Mind’ state I was in.

As I sat down at the start of my session, J asked what I wanted to put on the agenda for the day and so I told her I wanted to speak about the email. She asked to see my Diary Card and noted that my food had been a bit off key recently, and claimed that we…

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Originally posted on Living with Borderline Personality Disorder:

Self-soothing refers to carrying out acts of love and compassion towards oneself, especially during times of distress and difficult emotionality. Self-soothing is usually implemented via one or more of the five senses: visuals, sounds, sensations, smells and tastes. The function of self-soothing is to edge towards regulating oneself by acting in a way that may feel unfamiliar and counter-intuitive, but that is actually healthy and effective. An example for me would be during periods of anxiety – during which I tend to pick incessantly at my cuticles and nails. The “opposite action to emotion (of anxiety)” that I try to carry out during these moments is one of self-love and self-care, despite how unsettled I may be feeling inside and my urges to subtly attack myself: The action of applying a scented moisturiser to my hands and focusing on the senses of smell and touch helps me to stop…

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Being Sensitive

Originally posted on simplyeye:

Sometime’s I embrace being sensitive. Other time’s I wish it can disappear completely because I don’t know how to put on a mask and pretend some people’s action’s and word’s hurt.

I can being doing great half a day and all it takes is someone to compare me to someone else voice or scold me for the whom I am. I want to scream, F**K off!

I can feel an instant pain on my chest. But I hold my tongue because I’m in a professional place and the tears appear on the surface of my eyes and drop slowing upon the skin of my face.

I just want to, RUN! Run and run out and never look back. I can flashback to childhood events. (PTSD) , my Post traumatic stress disorder kicks in.

Suddenly depression wants to enter my head and I pull into my cabinet of all my coping…

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