Building a Life Worth Living: A Memoir

Building a Life Worth Living: A Memoir

Marsha Linehan tells the story of her journey from suicidal teenager to world-renowned developer of the life-saving behavioral therapy DBT, using her own struggle to develop life skills for others.

"This book is a victory on both sides of the page."--Gloria Steinem

"Are you one of us?" a patient once asked Marsha Linehan, the world-renowned psychologist who developed Dialectical Behavior Therapy. "Because if you were, it would give all of us so much hope."

Over the years, DBT had saved the lives of countless people fighting depression and suicidal thoughts, but Linehan had never revealed that her pioneering work was inspired by her own desperate struggles as a young woman. Only when she received this question did she finally decide to tell her story.

In this remarkable and inspiring memoir, Linehan describes how, when she was eighteen years old, she began an abrupt downward spiral from popular teenager to suicidal young woman. After several miserable years in a psychiatric institute, Linehan made a vow that if she could get out of emotional hell, she would try to find a way to help others get out of hell too, and to build a life worth living. She went on to put herself through night school and college, living at the YWCA and often scraping together spare change to buy food. She went on to get her PhD in psychology, specializing in behavior therapy. In the 1980s, she achieved a breakthrough when she developed Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a therapeutic approach that combines acceptance of the self and ways to change. Linehan included mindfulness as a key component in therapy treatment, along with original and specific life-skill techniques. She says, "You can't think yourself into new ways of acting; you can only act yourself into new ways of thinking."

Throughout her extraordinary scientific career, Marsha Linehan remained a woman of deep spirituality. Her powerful and moving story is one of faith and perseverance. Linehan shows, in Building a Life Worth Living, how the principles of DBT really work--and how, using her life skills and techniques, people can build lives worth living.

Title:Building a Life Worth Living: A Memoir
ISBN:9780812994612
Format Type:

    Building a Life Worth Living: A Memoir Reviews

  • Delany

    Its a fine autobiography of and by Marsha Linehan, one of my personal heroes in the field of psychology/psychotherapy. Im a psychologist who once worked with patients diagnosed with Borderline Persona...

  • Kerri

    A perfect book to be published in January. I remember the first time I heard Borderline Personality Disorder was from the movie, "Girl Interrupted" and I thought to myself that sounds like me. And I t...

  • Ruth Gibian

    Marsha Linehan single-handedly changed how psychotherapy approached people with traits known as "borderline," a group of people considered not likely to benefit from therapy. In the 1990s brought in a...

  • Bethany Vaughn

    As a teen, Marsha Linehan experienced suicidal ideation and was sent to an institution for the mentally unwell. Toward the end of her time there, she made a vow to God that once she got herself out of...

  • Kimberly Simpson

    This memoir shows the beauty and power of the wounded healer. Not only did she use her pain to singlehandedly advance mental health treatment, but she bravely risked all of that to inspire others thro...

  • Laura Davenport

    Absolutely terrible. You can appreciate the empire she built as long as you dont read the book....

  • Elizabeth

    Wow. This book is a treat. I rarely buy books, and as soon as I learned she was releasing a memoir, I pre-ordered and had to wait. I am not disappointed. Maybe it's already obvious, I am a huge fan of...

  • Amy

    As a psychologist and DBT practitioner, but also a great memoir fan, I give this book a resounding 5++ stars! Marshas story in beyond inspirational and I am floored at how she was able to integrate he...

  • Jenn Veilleux

    The story of how Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) came to be is definitely interesting, especially for a clinical psychologist like me. That said, I had a lot of judgments about the storytelling in ...

  • Lisa Wiegand

    A goodreads giveaway win that I was actually looking forward to reading. The book is an interesting one detailing the development of DBT thereapy for suicidal people who have borderline personality di...