The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Wellness Planner by Amanda Smith, LMSW
Please welcome guest blogger, Amanda Smith, LMSW of Hope For BPD and My Dialectical Life and now author of the fantastic spiral bound resource, The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Wellness Planner: 365 Days of Healthy Living for Your Body, Mind, and Spirit.
I love DBT.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy not only saved my life, but it also gave me a framework for creating something that I thought I’d never have—a life worth living. For me, recovery from borderline personality disorder has been hard work, but it’s also been worth it every step of the way.
For a lot of people I know, keeping track of their skills, moods, and behaviors with a diary card can be a challenging (and often frustrating) experience. But keeping track of this important information is a good idea for several different reasons.
1. Recording our skills helps us to identify gaps.
Sometimes we can get stuck in a DBT skills pattern. We may find ourselves engaged in a little too much Distress Tolerance and not enough Emotion Regulation or we might recognize that we are leaning heavily on the FAST skills and that our GIVE skills may need a little extra work. Because mindfulness is a cornerstone of DBT, it’s essential that we stay on top of those skills throughout the week, too. Keeping a diary card can be a valuable way to help us to see what we may be missing.
2. Keeping a diary card helps us to celebrate our progress.
Early in my DBT program, I remember looking at my diary card and thinking, “I’m using a lot of skills!” I needed this visual evidence to help me see that there were small things that I could do each day to help myself. After a few months, I could look back and see what I had been working on during any given week. It gave me a boost to keep moving forward even on difficult days.
3. Tracking our skills and behaviors helps us to see where we are going.
I'm going to buy it tomorrow!
Thank you, Kristen! 🙂
Mine came today and I am SO excited about the extra "push" this will give me in my recovery from BPD. Until now I have not been very good at keeping up with my DBT skills…I would forget to read my book or forget where I wrote in my journal about X incident, write myself notes but misplace them, etc. etc. Now I have a tool that I can easily use every day to track everything and remind myself both of my progress and areas that need improvement. I can't wait to show my planner to my therapist tomorrow. Thank you so much for creating such an amazing resource!
Thank you, Becky! This means so much to me. 🙂