Just for Moms

Image by Lisa WiderbergIf you are a mother of someone who's been diagnosed with BPD or emotion regulation disorder, you know that it can be devastating to watch someone you love suffer from intense emotions, impulsivity, and often self-destructive behaviors.

Even the most resourceful and positive moms can be left feeling over-whelmed and discouraged during the long road to recovery.

On Tuesday, July 22 at 8:00 pm EDT (5:00 pm PDT), we'll talk about different ways that you can get the help you need to take care of yourselves and those you love. You'll also have an opportunity to share a little bit of what has helped you so that you can support women in similar situations.

Please note that this conference call is only open to mothers of individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder or traits of BPD. Out of respect for the privacy of our participants and their families, this call will not be recorded.

The cost to participate is $25 but you can register between now and July 9, 2012 for just $15. Please click here to register today or e-mail Amanda for more information.


The Dialectics of Recovery


Image by Martinak15

Within dialectical behavior therapy we strive for the synthesis of opposing views and ideas.

That synthesis is most commonly referred to as Wise Mind.

Wise Mind is a place where we are acting neither out of Emotion Mind nor Reasonable Mind. We honor both but cling to neither. It's here where we begin to let go of some of our black and white thinking and find room for a middle path. You already know that this is a much healthier place to live.

For me, there have been two opposing views of recovery over the past decade:

• Work hard to get better fast.

• Be patient.

Finding the dialectic between the two has been challenging.

Work hard to get better fast

People who keep a diary card every day, make every therapy appointment, consistently reach out and ask for help, and put their recovery first will see some pretty significant (and lasting) results anywhere between six and twelve months. Having a mental illness can be emotionally and fiscally devastating and from a relational and financial perspective, making an investment in DBT can yield great returns.

This same idea is true for any goal we set in life. The harder we work, the more results we'll see. The greater the effort, the richer our reward. Hard work really does pay off.

Be patient 

The other side of working really hard to get better in the fastest time frame possible is to be patient.

Being patient means taking the time (even if it takes years) to figure out what works, what doesn't, and how we can from our mistakes. We learn from failure in a way that we do not learn from our successes.

Patience also teaches us an important lesson in watching life unfold in just the way it was meant to transpire.

Sometimes I wish that I had access to DBT in my teens or early 20s but now I can (usually but not always) see that things happen the way they do for a reason.

Even though we'd like for things to be different, recovery simply doesn't happen in a nice linear and predictable way. It's usually full of encouraging starts, disappointing stops, and progress that can sometimes be challenging to spot even on the best of days.

People with a diagnosis of BPD are often under a great deal of pressure to change quickly. For example, spouses may threaten divorce or well-meaning parents may insist that their child return to college shortly after a suicide attempt. For some people, these may be effective motivators for change but for others it will only be an impediment that will stall recovery.

The secret is in honoring the dialectic between pushing for hard work and being exceptionally patient with yourself or someone you love. The bigger secret is to know when to do it.



Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Children and Adolescents

Walking the Middle Path: DBT for Children and Adolescents  


Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center

Austin Auditorium
100 Hillcrest Medical Blvd
Waco, TX 76712


April 4, 2014
8:00 am–4:30 pm


Waco Partnership for Psychological and Spiritual Care

Hope for BPD

Timberline Knolls


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment designed to help individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. DBT has also been adapted to help other patient populations that include but are not limited to self-harming behaviors, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, substance use, and family caregivers. This one-day training will provide an overview of using DBT with children and adolescents who are at-risk or have been diagnosed with an emotion regulation disorder.

We are honored to have Nancy Gordon, LCSW join us as our trainer for the day. Nancy has 30 years of experience working with clients of all ages in all levels of care. As Clinical Director in Vermont and Florida she implemented DBT in each setting, and has presented nationally and locally on many clinical topics.

Nancy was intensively trained in 1998 with over 100 hours of training since then. She was one of the first in the country to implement DBT into an adolescent residential setting which drew national recognition.

Nancy founded Tampa Bay Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy with the mission of increasing the availability of adherent DBT and evidence-based treatment to Florida.

The training is open to mental health professionals, individuals diagnosed with BPD, their families, clergy, and students.

Licensed mental health professionals may apply to receive 7 continuing education credit hours.


$99 for mental health professionals; $59 for individuals diagnosed with BPD, family members, students, and clergy.

The conference fee includes lunch and educational materials.

Registration fees, minus a $25 service charge, will be refunded to participants who send a notice via e-mail no less than 7 days before the training. No refunds will be made thereafter. A colleague may be substituted for no extra charge if Waco Partnership for Psychological and Spiritual Care is notified by March 30, 2014.

Learning Objectives

Following this training, participants will be able to

• Understand the developmental needs in children and adolescents experiencing emotion dysregulation

• Explain how DBT has be adapted to the needs of children and adolescents

• Define the role of emotion regulation skills in DBT

• Use validation techniques in DBT

• Describe the case management principles in DBT

• Explain the role of consultation team in DBT


Please click here to register today or contact Amanda Smith for more information.


Family Connections Comes to Waco

Image by MyTudutThe National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder is sponsoring Family Connections—a 12-week course for families challenged by borderline personality disorder—beginning Tuesday, November 5 at 6:30 pm.

The class is taught by trained volunteers and designed for family members who have a loved one suffering from borderline personality disorder.

Family Connections offers family members up-to-date information on this serious disorder, leads to more effective communications, and provides coping and problem-solving strategies.

A donation of $50 per person or $75 per couple would be appreciated to cover the cost of materials. The course will be held downtown at Waco Partnership for Psychological and Spiritual Care.

For more information or to register, please contact Amanda Smith by e-mail at amanda@hopeforbpd.com or by calling (941) 704-4328. Pre-registration is required.


30 Days (+1) of Mentalizing

Image by striaticI'm proud to announce the second cycle of a pilot program I'm calling 30 Days of Mentalizing, will begin on August 1.

This peer-led psychoeducation opportunity will allow participants to learn about Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT)—an evidenced-based therapy. Through a daily e-mail, subscribers will be encouraged to engage in a variety of activities that help promote mentalizing—the ability to better understand our own thoughts and emotions and those of others.

MBT was originally created to treat borderline personality disorder but has now been adapted to help family members of those diagnosed with BPD. Valerie Porr—author of Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide to Healing and Change—has even called MBT the "missing piece" of dialectical behavior therapy.

Increasing our capacity to mentalize may help us to:

• develop our social cognition skills
• begin to eliminate misunderstandings with those we care about
• be more aware of how our behaviors can affect others 
• connect in more meaningful ways 
• better understand our world

The pilot is open to individuals with a diagnosis of a mental illness, family members, and mental health professionals. Please note, however, that 30 Days of Mentalizing is not a therapy program nor is it intended to be a substitute for treatment, care or consultation with a licensed healthcare professional. If you are wondering if this psychoeducation program may be appropriate for you, please ask your healthcare provider.

This psychoeducation program is limited to 30 participants and costs just $15. Subscribers will be asked to fill out an anonymous survey at the end of pilot and will be entered into a drawing to receive a $50 gift certificate from either Amazon.com or iTunes.

Registration is now closed for 30 Days (+1) of Mentalizing. If you'd like to be placed on the waiting list for the next cycle, please let me know by e-mailing amanda@hopeforbpd.com.