I am not a big fan of magic

Yet there is a magic word in DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy)

That word is AND!


AND allows me to see the truth in 2 opposing views


On one side I have the “validation” of who I am right now

On the other side I have the challenge to change my behaviour


“I am doing the best that I can”


“I need to do better”

 Think of the Serenity Prayer

It looks to Accept what cannot be changed


It looks to Change what can be changed


These same two concepts make up the basic Skills learned in DBT

  1. The Acceptance Skills
  2. The Change Skills

Each of the basic Skills has two Skills modules:


Core Mindfulness

Distress Tolerance

Emotion Regulation

Interpersonal Effectiveness


I have been at this DBT thing for almost 2 years

You might say

“I’m a slow learner”

AND you might say:

“I really want to get this right”


I really do want to get this right

I have a chance to finally learn how to live

Even better, live a Life Worth Living

So I am highly motivated to make this work


Yet at the beginning it felt like it would never stick

All the information and concepts that made up this therapy

It became a little (no a lot) overwhelming

AND I stuck with it

AND I am so glad that I did


AND is such a small word yet it has such great potential

For me it represents the one thing I had been missing in other therapies – Change!


Change was the one thing missing in my life

My other therapies were self-validating, AND they gave me great insights

The one thing they did not do

They did not change my behaviour


I was stuck on a Merry go Round

Round and round I’d go

But end up no place different than where I started


I slept away most of my days –

I was running and hiding from the pain and intense emotions I experienced

At one point I chose to drown my days away

Alcohol to run and hide from the pain and intense emotions I experienced


But the running, hiding and the drowning did not change the pain

And I was not able to change my behavior

Run and hide, run and hide

Hide and seek without the seeking


Then I met the AND word

I met the dynamic duo of Acceptance AND Change

AND then my life began to really change

Change in ways I could not have imagined


My bed is still my go to place


My living life has slowly taken me out of that bed


Before I was not able to spend a whole day out of bed

Nor to use that time out of bed effectively.

AND has now helped me to not only get out of bed

It has also helped me to be effective while out of bed


This change could only happen when challenged to make it happen

AND reminded that I am doing the best I can


It can be a difficult journey


It is a life changing journey.


I may not believe in magic but I do love my new magic word – AND