The Hartford Courant ran an article this week about author and psychologist Marsha Linehan. Linehan is responsible for developing DBT, dialectical behavior therapy, a type of psychotherapy designed to treat suicidal behavior, other self-harm behaviors and borderline personality disorder. According to the article Linehan has received a number of awards for her clinical and research contributions and there are now 10,000 clinicians worldwide trained in DBT. Quite an accomplishment but not why I am writing about this woman today.
At 68 years old Linehan had an announcement to make. She invited 150 of her friends, family and colleagues as well as 35 patients to Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living. Only a few close family members knew what she was going to say. “Poised but teary” Linehan announced that she spent over two years as a teenager at the Institute for suicidal, self-harm and sometimes violent behavior.
After a long journey healing her scars from childhood and a successful career saving others from the same nightmare, Marsha Linehan was finally ready to Say it Out Loud! She stated that she never told anyone for fear that it would compromise her credibility as a researcher and clinician. In truth, her disclosure makes her more credible.
Linehan is quoted as saying,”When you’ve known suffering you feel the need to transform other people’s lives. None of us are alone; we just feel alone.” Amen I say to that!
The only way we can comfort others and let them know they are not alone is by saying it out loud. By sharing our stories as survivors we offer hope to others who are still struggling. We are saying to them you are not crazy, what you are feeling is real; I know it because I’ve been there.
For anyone who has experienced and healed from any kind of emotional pain what a gift you have to give. Don’t keep it to yourself. When the time is right do what Marsha Linehan did and Say It Out Loud. You will be amazed at the connections that you will make and how good it feels to know that you have offered someone hope and comfort.
Congratulations to Marsha Linehan for her courage! If you have a Say it Out Loud moment please share it with me by clicking on “Your Story” at the top of this page.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anais Nin