Suppose someone were to ask me what I am most grateful for regarding my work at Therapeutic Oasis. Without any hesitation, I would say I’m most grateful for the opportunity I was given to participate in our DBT Skills Group. In March last year, I joined the Oasis team and began my journey developing an understanding of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). I had some basic knowledge about DBT through my studies as a mental health counseling student, however, I would say that I knew nothing more about DBT than the simplest of knowledge I’ve read in a book. Fast forward to November 2020, where I had the opportunity to join our 24-week DBT Skills Group and began to learn what DBT is all about.
My first day of DBT Skills Group had me excited for more. As a student and future therapist, I saw the group as an incredible opportunity to learn more about this evidence-based approach, and looked forward to gaining as much knowledge as possible each week in group. Low and behold, these were not the same thoughts I had once the group came to an end. Despite some awareness that I might obtain more than knowledge out of the group, I never imagined how life-changing these skills could be.
Check the facts. Is this Wise Mind? Am I in an emotional mind right now? These are just a few skills that regularly come to my mind, and have allowed me to gain a new perspective on life. Although I did not join this group because it was clinically recommended (as opposed to a therapist trainee), it has changed me so much as a person, friend, student, and employee. I am more mindful throughout each day, I have needed skills when in a crisis, I can move through the motion of life being less judgmental of myself and others. I can even tell myself that I am being skillful and congratulate myself for putting my skills into action.
Who needs DBT? Based upon my own experience, I would say everyone needs DBT. I wouldn’t say I went into the group thinking that I didn’t need DBT, however, I can undoubtedly say that I left the group thinking, “Wow, I needed DBT!” The skills I learned are a part of my life now, and I wish I learned them sooner. I never imagined how much a two-hour group once a week could really impact my daily living. This experience helped me become the person I am today, and I am forever grateful to Therapeutic Oasis for allowing me to participate in their DBT Skills Group.