Help me develop a DBT-based parenting program!

This program will be based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If proven successful there is a high possibility it will be moved online to support moms from around the world!

Here is the link for the survey! Thank you for your help and support 🙂

Experiences of Mom’s with Borderline Personality Disorder/Borderline Traits

 

What would you want out of a BPD Mom program?

My boss has given me permission to begin research in the hopes of creating a program for Mom’s with BPD improve their relationship with their children and themselves. I am preparing a survey and in the meantime, I wanted to reach out here! If you do not already know me, I am a Mom who experiences borderline traits.

There is a lot of research out there that bashes Moms who experience BPD. Resources for Moms with BPD are scarce and I want to change that! If you feel comfortable, please leave a response in the comments below or you can wait for the survey as it is anonymous.

Who am I looking to hear from:

  • Moms who have BPD, borderline traits or believe they have BPD and have never been officially diagnosed.
  • Moms (of any age child)
  • Pregnant, first-time moms
  • Women who would like to be moms

What I would like to know is: if you signed up for a program on Mothering and BPD, what would you want in it? What would help you the most improve your relationship with your children? What would make you feel confident in your mothering as a first-time mom or someone who wants to be a mom?

 

Join me in learning DBT Skills!

When I get right down to it, if I had not of learned Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) skills I would not have my son. I feared that if I did not get my emotions under control I would not be able to properly cope with the trials of parenthood and not give my child the best version of myself. Before DBT, I felt stuck and worried that I would never have the family I knew I deserved.

Very quickly, I saw that the DBT skills were changing me. Emotion regulation skills taught me about my emotions (to listen to them, not hate them) and how I can influence them. Interpersonal effectiveness skills taught me how to better communicate my needs and that I am not responsible for people’s responses. Distress tolerance skills taught me how to cope in times of stress and how meeting my physical needs helps tolerate emotional distress. Mindfulness skills taught me how to slow down and notice the moment so I do not become overwhelmed in this fast paced world.

Maybe you can relate to my experience. Maybe your emotions and ability to cope with them are holding you back from having a life worth living. I would like to encourage you to consider joining me in learning DBT. I work for an organization, based out of Toronto, Ontario called Dialectical Living. We have spots currently open for our 2017 DBT skills classes. The great thing about our classes is that you do not have to live in Toronto to attend! In February 2017 we are launching our Intro to DBT course ONLINE! Learn DBT with me and my co-facilitator wherever you are in the world!

In the Intro to DBT course you will learn all of the core DBT skills over a 12 week period. The course is cost-effective and one of the most affordable DBT courses out there. It is very important to myself and the staff at Dialectical Living that we are as affordable as possible so everyone who needs DBT can access it.

To learn more about our courses please visit our website: http://www.dialecticalliving.ca/online-skills-group/

 

After “World Suicide Prevention Day”: 4 events I’m glad I lived to see

This past Saturday was World Suicide Prevention Day. Please take the time to read a blog post I wrote about for Dialectical Living, a peer-based DBT organization based in Toronto. In the post, I share 4 events that have happened in my life that I am glad I got to experience. I was able to experience these events because I did not die when I tried to back in 2005.

I would love to hear how you celebrated World Suicide Prevention Day, your thoughts and feelings and anything else!

http://www.dialecticalliving.ca/after-world-suicide-prevention-day/

It’s not a fantasy, it’s one possible reality

Photo: “One day you’ll wake up next to the love of your life in a pretty house with puppies and cute kids and all the hard things happening now will be worth it.”

 

I saw this picture this morning and it warmed my heart. I was waking up next to the love of my life, with my son moving around in my belly (he’s due this month) and my cat wandering around our apartment. All the hard things I went through were worth it for this moment. Scrolling through the comments on the picture I saw that a lot of people were not happy about this photo.

“Hate to break it to you, but this is not a guaranteed outcome! I use to fall for this sort of thought process/mentality…”

“Fantasy is not a good coping mechanism for mental illness.”

“Doesn’t sound like people are impressed with the false hope idea. Besides, unless you face and fix the underlying issues now, all that “puppies, kids, etc” won’t help much. You’ll still be struggling, expect now you have more to lose than before.” (although to the credit of this comment the person went on to say that if you do find these things in your life you have more to fight for which is good)

I get it. I really do. I have been in the mindset that I will always be suffering and that I cannot have what I want and need. It pains me to read comments that illustrate to me that many people think they cannot find things to make them happy, find the things that will make their horrible experiences worth it. It shouldn’t be a “fantasy” to live happily ever after in whatever form that may take for you. There are many possible realities and we can find the one that suits us. It is productive to have goals about how we want our life to look and it is very good for our mental health to have goals.

When B and I first started dating it was my goal to become more in control of my emotions to improve our relationship and my relationship with myself. I knew we wanted children and I would not put a child through my emotional chaos while I had no coping skills. I spent about a year learning and practicing DBT. Our relationship went up and down because that’s what happens and when we finally decided to try and have a baby it came from a strong and confident place. Even in the early spring of this year when our relationship briefly ended I modified my goal and began to work towards it while also managing the extreme emotional pain of a breakup. Our relationship, fortunately, was repaired so I know that my reality will constantly be changing. There are no guarantees to how your life will turn out and there never will be. We can only do what we can in the moment to try and create the best possible outcome.

We decide what is “worth it” in our lives. To think that reaching that satisfied moment in your life is a “fantasy”, “false hope”  and something you “fall for” is what will probably be a part of what stops you from finding and getting what you want/need. I know I am probably making it sound like this is easy. I know it is not. I have been on this journey since I was around 12 years old and I am still young. I have fallen down many times and almost didn’t get back up. I have had to push myself, accept the pain and find the lessons to help me become better.

Check out these mental wellness apps

A friend of mine recently sent me a list of mental wellness apps. I personally find technology to be a very useful tool in creating mental wellness (in moderation, I also believe in unplugging from technology). I have used a few apps myself and when you commit to them, which I admit I struggle to do, they are very helpful and can offer a lot of support and insight.  Here are the apps! If you try one or use one I would love to hear what you think about them.

Living Well App for Men’s Wellbeing

For Apple & Android

Free

“The Living Well App is specifically designed to assist men who have been sexually abused in childhood. We know that childhood sexual abuse can have a profound impact on men’s lives and relationships. However, we also know that men who have been sexually abused can live rich, full lives, develop healthy relationships and make positive contributions within our communities.” 

What’s Up?

For Apple & Android

Free

“What’s Up? is a fantastic free app utilising some of the best CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) methods to help you cope with Depression, Anxiety, Anger, Stress and more!”

Optimism Mental Health Apps for Self-Tracking

For Apple, Mac, Windows & Web

Free

“…self-tracking applications, designed to help you increase your understanding of all the things that affect your mental health. The apps act as a springboard to detect patterns in your health and develop strategies to proactively manage depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health conditions.”

TruReach

For Apple & Android

Free

“TruReach is mental wellness on-the go. We’ve broken down cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) into quick, 5-minute lessons and packed them into the TruReach app…TruReach includes 18 CBT lessons that cover the following topics, all of which are important in the treatment of anxiety and depression…”

DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach

For Apple

$6.99

“DBT Diary Card was created by a Ph.D. psychologist trained directly by Dr. Marsha Linehan and at the Duke University Medical Center; we are experts in DBT, providing consultation to many in our community.”

MoodPanda- Mood Diary and Mood Tracker

For Apple, Android & Web

Free

“MoodPanda is your Interactive Mood Diary. MoodPanda helps you track how you’re feeling, with personal analysis, visualisations and interpretations of your mood, and a lovely, friendly and anonymous community of people there to support you if you need them.”

buddhify- Mindfulness and Meditation

For Apple & Android

$2.99

“Mindfulness & meditation for wherever you are…With over 11 hours of custom meditations for 15 different parts of your day including traveling, being online, taking a work break and going to sleep, buddhify will help you de-stress, sleep better and bring more awareness and compassion to all parts of your life.”

MoodKit

For Apple

$6.99

 

“MoodKit is a one-of-a-kind app designed to help you apply effective strategies of professional psychology to your everyday life! With four integrated tools, MoodKit helps you to…Take action to improve your life, feel better by changing how you think, rate & chart your mood to monitor progress, develop self-awareness & healthy attitudes…MoodKit draws upon the principles and techniques of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), one of the most effective and scientifically-supported methods of psychotherapy.”

MoodNotes

For Apple

$3.99

“Capture your mood and improve your thinking habits through an innovative approach to journaling! Moodnotes empowers you to track your mood over time, avoid common thinking traps, and develop perspectives associated with increased happiness and well-being.”

iMood Journal

For Apple & Android

$2.62

“This beautiful app is an ultimate mood journal, personal diary and charting tool. It will help you discover causes of your ups and downs, and get surprising insights into yourself!”

Stigma- Personal Journal, Gratitude Diary and Mood Tracker

For Apple & Android (Coming soon)

Free

“The personal journal is a lost art…journaling enhances self-awareness and helps us grow. But we still don’t do it.
There are two problems with the traditional journal. First, it is a difficult habit to keep (we hold the expectation we must write out hundreds of words). Second, it is impossible to reflect on and grow from the thousands of bygone experiences trapped between the unread pages. Stigma solves all that. Take 15 seconds to add a journal entry. The app organizes your entries into word-clouds to make self-reflection simple and meaningful. In short, Stigma is the personal journal, reinvented.”