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DBT founder comes out as psychiatric survivor, formerly diagnosed with schizophrenia

DBT is a major innovation in the modern therapy world, and we now know that it is largely the contribution of a psychiatric survivor, a woman diagnosed with schizophrenia at 18 years old and hospitalized.  Further, we now know that one of the key insights within the method was first revealed to her in an incident that was definitely hallucinatory, or as she described it,

“One night I was kneeling in there, looking up at the cross, and the whole place became gold — and suddenly I felt something coming toward me,” she said. “It was this shimmering experience, and I just ran back to my room and said, ‘I love myself.’ It was the first time I remember talking to myself in the first person. I felt transformed.”

Certainly this sort of experience would never have happened, or would never have been recalled as important, had Marsha Linehan been on an adequate dose of neuroleptics (antipsychotics)!  But fortunately she got off her medication (no doubt against doctor’s advice) after she left the hospital, and we all can be happy she did.

Below is a link to the news story about it.  Note that the page also has a short video of Marsha describing her hallucinatory experience and how it decisively transformed her life.


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