DBT Self Help

Don’t worry, you don’t need your wetsuit for this session. This week we will be talking about the trickle-down effect and how you can cause unseen waves of effect on other people that you might not realise. You see, while you think you are the one in therapy it’s important to note that most people are not alone in this journey. Some have family, friends, children and some will even have dependents that will need their time as well, so what happens in therapy needs to take all of those people into account as well. This is especially true when it comes to BPD which often affects ALL others around the patient.

While you yourself have filled in the Kessler-10 form it might be worth asking other members of your close circle to do the same. Sure, you seem to be struggling a little, but what about them? If you feel brave enough why not let me know who is in your close circle in the comments below, or even consider writing it down in a journal so you see their names on paper, thus at the very least thinking about they feel rather than yourself for a small while. You might even come to the conclusion that you spend too much time thinking about others and not enough about yourself. If you have noticed this congratulations, it is a big step you have taken already in acknowledging this as it is something we can work on in future weeks. Or you might notice you can’t think of anyone and that is fine as well.

While some people think BPD is all about the individual it really isn’t. BPD is a problem for all those around the individual as well, even if it is something small like they notice you are in mental pain a lot of the time and feel down themselves about it because they love/care for you, it is still affecting them in some way. While it is good you are trying to get help with this course you might want to talk about it with anyone and everyone who will listen to you. This will not only help you remember the teachings inside these pages but also might help them to understand you and your BPD a little more. How knows, you might even stumble across a family member who also has the symptoms of BPD! By discovering how far your own ‘Wave’ travels should enable you to feel a little less alone in the struggles and a lot more understanding of why going through the remaining 50 weeks is so important.

This Week’s Homework: What I would like you to do this week is to create something like the diagram below…

The Wave Diagram

All you have to do is put all the names you consider close to you inside the circle and have a little think about how your BPD might be affecting them. Write down words they might be thinking or the emotions they are feeling when you are at your worse around them. Maybe they don’t notice anything and if so you should write that down as well. If you can’t think of any names to put down why not make some people up and think about what they might think about your BPD.

Then 2nd, you should write at least a few names of people who are not in your close circle. These could be the names of people you hardly see, like your delivery driver, the postman or a nosey neighbour. Just have a think about how they might see you or think about you, even if it is a little triggering to think about it, have a little try. The end result might look a little something like this…

The Wave Diagram

Again, if you feel brave enough do share social media links below with your worksheet filled in, or just let me know in the comments below about anything you might notice. If you don’t fancy filling in the sheet just try and imagine for a while what it might look like if you did. Even if it is in your mind you might still get an understanding of the effects your waves might have on others.


Week 1: Finding Out Where You Are

Week 3: Are you a Pebble or Sand?

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