The reason the only reason the reason I developed DBT in the first place was because I wanted to help other people have lives worth living. Alright? The reason I'm writing about my past is there if I can have a life worth living, take it from me so can you because very few people who've been through what I went through, knew how to build a life worth living. So my life has to do with something that says to anyone, if I can do it, you can do it.
it was very different what a parent can say and what a therapist can say, a parent really has to say, I love you. And no matter what anyone else has said about you, it may have made you so unhappy. They're wrong about you. So it's very different. I would not say that as a therapist, that a parent would have would need to say something like that something soothing, something that could help them feel different about themselves.
I'll give you an example of what goes on. We can't, we just finished a really large study with DBT with adolescents. And what we found, which was unbelievable, from my point of view, was the mean things they get say said online to children, by other children who say things like you're just so fat, why don't you just go ahead kill yourself? Or, oh, wait your nose, you should kill yourself? What do you think about that, and 2535 5500 other things, which gets out to these children.
In those situations, the only real person who can do anything, probably as a parent, although a therapist also can be helpful, like we were helpful because we had very good outcomes. But a parent can say How mean was that? parent can say it's not true value.
So parents have a lot of ability to say things that can sue the child. therapists don't have as much therapists can say things like that, but not as powerful as a parent can say, going back to what would it therapists say? I don't know what I can tell you what I would say what I say to anyone who says they want to kill themselves.
First of all, I say as a bad idea. So I started off this, I usually say there's no evidence whatsoever, you're going to be happier dead than you are alive. There's no data whatsoever for that particular point of view. So I think it's not particularly great idea. So then I usually then move to, you know, what is in your life is making my feel I could start with living, let's figure that out.
What what's not making your life feel as if it's worth living.
Because I feel sure if we could figure that out, we can figure out a way to make life experienced as worth living. And in general, for a therapist, that is the tap text that is what a therapist has to do is figure out a way to help a client experienced life as worth living.
People do not kill themselves who think life is worth living. They don't do it. And so that's really what you have to be able to be reasonably good at is helping a client develop a life that they experience is worth living. And that is completely doable. Most of the time, if you have a therapist, who is pretty good at figuring out how to make life worth living. Parents can also do the same thing but it's a lot that would be much more difficult probably for a parent to do them for a therapist. So parents have to simply provide extreme loving Understanding and suggest to the person that there is a life that can be learned worth worth living, and they can help the child with it, for therapists to say to anyone who's talking about suicide, you have to point out to them that there's no evidence that they'll feel better.
But almost always, there's a lot of evidence that they're going to hurt a lot of other people. And so then you have to go through, Are you really willing to hurt this many people, because there's no way that you're going to kill yourself that you haven't hurt other people, the average client will immediately say, no one cares about me, no one cares, fine dad or not. And so you have to be able to, you have to be a salesperson to be a good therapist. And therefore you had to be good salesperson that that is not true. If nothing else, I your therapist, will be hurt and distressed. And it will really be painful, if nothing else, sacred, but in general, you've got to sell them on the idea of people that they love are going to be hurt.
After the sale that you then have to say. Let's give it a try. Let's see if we can make your life feel as if it's worth living. Why Why don't we take a trial? You can always kill yourself later. But you can't kill yourself if you do it. So let's try first. Building a life worth living and see how that goes.
There's all kinds of roles that I disagree with. And one of them one of them is exactly that. If I really love my client, what I say to them is I really love you. So it'll be very painful to me if you go ahead and kill yourself because I know that you also love my clients usually. Or I might not say that I might not say I know you love me. But what I would say is it will be I care about you so much that it will really be painful if you do so I can't imagine not saying that. Because it would sound like I don't care if they kill themselves or not. That I personally don't care, their parents care. Everybody else cares but I don't care. Another way you can say it is you know if you kill yourself I'm really going to miss you. You can say that.
So my opinion of the average client is that they're rarely doing anything like that. In general, parents may think that way. But I haven't met clients who have tried to kill themselves to harm their family. They may threaten to do that, to get their parents to do something different. I can imagine a client saying, funeral do this on my kill myself. Okay, I could imagine that.
But like, I can't think of any client I've ever had, who actually would do that in order to hurt their parents. I never experienced that. So some clients might threaten to try to get what they want. I wouldn't put it past clients. But that's not very common. If I had a client who said that, I don't think that helpful thing to do, would be to say you're just trying to hurt me. I think the most helpful thing to do would be, let's sit down to talk. It sounds like you're really feeling terrible. Let's see what we can do to make things better.
In other words, a kid might say something to threaten a parent, but they don't usually what they're trying to do is make things better for themselves. But I haven't seen clients do that. But if they did, what you would need to do is respond with love and care. It's really the only way to help particularly children. I don't think the average child for triple A child is doing things to punish their family. They they have the effect of harming their family. There's no parent who isn't hurt beyond words, it's they have a child who kills themselves. Okay? Not a parent isn't going to feel what did I do? Okay, now, there may be some, I'm sure there are some who might say they just did this to hurt me. I've never had a parent say that myself. Nor have I ever had a client do that.
That on the theory that maybe occasionally that happens, then the role of the therapist is to help the client, help the parent see that a child who kills themselves is doing the best they can and might, for whatever reason, and if you haven't treated the client, it may be impossible to actually even understand why they did it. But you can't say that they did it just to hurt. Somebody's going to show you one idea, they mindfulness tomorrow, they will the most n equals one whoever and they wait a year? That's a really good question. Because I had, I had heard that I'm always been a Christian, Catholic. And so with that, I'd never heard of most of the stuff.
But then I thought that if I really want to teach people, I'm going to have to learn something myself. So then I had to figure out who could teach me what I needed to know in order to help others. So that's when I started looking around at Where can I go to get teaching myself so that I could teach others that was basically what I was trying to do. I had never heard of any of this other stuff.
So that I heard about Shasta, appi, California, Seattle. So I decided I called him up and said, Can I come up, come down there and get training, which they said I can.
So I was gonna learn all of that. And I went to chess to Abby. I couldn't even imagine in my whole lifetime, how I could have possibly learned as much as I learned there. They were one of the most amazing places I've ever been to, I can tell you a million stories of how they kept me going. So what you really learn in this whole area, is how to accept reality as it is, and how to not let yourself cry all the time by getting where you want. I have to have nerves to have to have that. Why can't I have that? Why can I have that.
And so I learned a lot about mindfulness. There's a lot more to say about what mindfulness. But so I think more than anything else I ever did in my life, it changed me more than anything else ever had. Which was to, first of all, mindfulness is about being loving, and caring, to not constantly demand to get what you want, or to be right, or to have the answer.
And so you learn all of this, because then you end up having to teach, I had to teach all my clients all of those. And so life is a lot easier once you can let go of demanding everything you want. That's really a large part of what I got. mindfulness can have this enormous impact on anybody of how to deal with not always getting what you want, which is largely what it's about. It's about radically accepting what's happening now. And so because both places that I learned mindfulness, both taught the same thing.
There was no difference in what we got taught. It was that you what is is and to read, always, radically accept what is okay. It didn't mean that you couldn't try to improve your life and things like that. But it did mean that you didn't throw tantrums about not getting what you wanted. And so I learned that and I learned how to teach it.
And I ended up I became a Zen master. how that happened. I really don't know my teacher. One day just said, You're now a Zen master. And I said, you cannot do that. What are you talking about? I'm not that good. He said, Yes, you are. You're now Zen master. I'm writing my memoir. And my memoir has all my past. Yes. And the reason, the only reason, the reason I developed DBT, in the first place, was because I wanted to help other people have lives worth living. Alright?
The reason I'm writing about my past is that if I can have a life worth living, take it from me, so can you because very few people who've been through what I went through, knew how to build a life worth living.
So my life has to do with something that says to anyone, if I can do it, you can do it. And I want to tell people that if I could do it, you could do it. When I was a teenager. I started having headaches all the time. So they sent me to doctors, and I got worse instead of better. Because they gave me all kinds of medicine is my theory, I could be wrong. Whatever it was, they then said they should send me to a hospital. So they did not that I wanted to get, but I got sent them. Once I got to the hospital, I couldn't get out of the hospital because they wouldn't let me out of the hospital.
And I completely lost my minds are more or less. That's when I had so many concussions. It was even funny, my brother told me, he said, You were like a football player, you've had so many concussions in your head. And I had all the concussions because I couldn't control my own behavior. So I would stand up and go headfirst on the floor, I'm going to tell anyone who hears this, that that's a stupid thing to do. Because you pay for the rest of your life, which I have, but did not destroy me. Only because I continue to build a life. And so I was there. I was finally I wasn't kicked out. I got out without a by knowing that I got out.
In other words, I and then I talked my parents in to letting me out. What happened next was I went to live with my brother. When I went to live with my brother. I also ended up in another hospital. And no one could get me out of there. My brother couldn't get me out. The psychiatrists could not get me out. There was no one who have led me out of there because they all said, anyone is smart as high was this exactly what they said. It's hard to believe that's true. They said anyone as smart as you who has many promises, you must really be severely disordered. Therefore, we're not going to let you out.
So they wouldn't let me out. So I spent my time while I was there, taking care of older people who are also locked up. They were locked up and I was helping them prom and I had these old women sitting next to me, which I will never forget. One of the old women got up and started crying, saying she was waiting for her father to come get her. So I got up to try to help her. At which point the nurses started screaming at her. Her father is not coming to get you he's 20 feet underground. This is tell me people were not to me. The nurses rather likes me. But I spent most of my time there trying to help these older women. The problem was no one could get me out.
So finally my brother, my brother, oh, the food was so terrible. You can't believe how bad that food was really you couldn't. I also tried to help people who wouldn't eat their own food. But they wouldn't let me help her. Because they said she was joined on purpose. So we never had food that you could really eat because you didn't know what it was.
So my brother decides to bring me hamburgers. So he would come in each week with hamburgers. So I told my brother, I said, Well, you can't give me hamburgers if you're not gonna give him to everybody else. So he said okay, he gives hamburgers to everybody. So my poor brother came and brought hamburgers every week to all of us, but they still couldn't get me out. They're the physician who is the head person couldn't get the higher up. So let me out. Because they said they couldn't let him like me out.
So finally my brother said, we're going to court.
And that's what happened, the only way I got out was to go. And my brother, we took me to court. And my brother told them, that he would do everything take care of me that nobody had to worry about, that I was in good shape. And my brother said, all this stuff. And that's how I got out.
Once I got out, I stayed out. I knew going into hospitals was not a good idea for me.
And after that, I lived alone for a long time. But I was determined that I was going to build not only build a life for myself, I wasn't really that worried about building a life for myself, I was worried about being wise for others, because I'd been around so many people who were in so much trouble with so many mental disorders, that I made up my mind that what I was going to do with my own life was I was going to get out of hell. And then I was going to get other people out of hell.
And what happened then was I somehow managed to get a job. How I did that, it's not clear to me, and I spent the rest of my life for them up until now, for the most part, trying to develop strategies to help other people.
And I plan on doing that until I die, myself.
That's really the goal of my life is to help others. Because I ended up with a very happy life. Because of my daughter, once I found my daughter, she then came to live with me. So this is not a biological daughter. It is a woman that I met who loved me and I loved her.
And she and her husband, live with me. And I've managed to keep a very happy life with them.
So what I have to say to all the people who feel that they don't have life's worth living, is that you have to stick to the effort.
But also more than likely, you have to find something that you want to help someone with something that you want to make money you could be you could help dogs. I mean, it doesn't have to be another person. But you do have to have some reason to stay alive. If you want to stay alive. And you have to figure out a way that will make your life worth living.
And that's what I did. And that's why I'm here. That's why I'm talking to you.
You know, it would be very hard to know what I would say because it would depend on what had happened her.
So for example, Geraldine, when I had what happened to me, I ended up with her in my life, but that's because my next door neighbor's she was sent to stay with my next door neighbors. But they said they didn't have enough room for her.
So they said, Well, how about if we send her to our next door neighbor Marsha Linehan.
So they sent her over to me. Have I had a person who had no one to stay with? I'm not sure Sure What I would have said, I would have said, we have to find someone to be helpful for you to live with you or someone for you to live with, or some way for you to have a life.
Because I wouldn't send them back to a hospital. I could have, I guess, said, Let's talk and see if you could stay with your brother. But even I knew that was probably not a good idea. Because my brother was married and had children. And I don't think it would have been a good idea for them. It would have been good for me, but not for them. So it probably wouldn't have worked well. I'm not sure about that. But at the time, I certainly thought that.
So in general, I would get them into therapy, if I had a person that came out and they were by themselves. I would say we need to get you a good therapist, and see if we can help you build a life worth living. I got a life worth living because my next door neighbor sent her to me and her father, and her mother allowed her to stay with me. So I right now would probably say, we have to come up with a strategy for you to be in an environment where people care about you.
Because I don't really see an easy way. Long term. If no one cares about you.
I went for quite a long time because my by myself before I met her, but I wouldn't be here if I hadn't met her. And I think living alone would not have worked very long. I got a very good job. And all I was scared all the time. Now the people there. Were very kind to me, that if you don't have anyone kind to you is very hard to keep going. That doesn't mean that you should stop going. It means hey, you've got to do everything you can to find people who will care about you.
And probably I wouldn't tell them to do that I would help them do it. But ultimately I would say that's what's needed.