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Diana Partington
DBT for Life

Adult; Self-Help, Sex & Relationships, Psychology, Philosophy, Fashion; (Market)

The critically acclaimed book DBT for Life: Skills to Transform the Way You Live will empower you with skills to improve your relationships, manage your overwhelming emotions, and live a better life. This engaging and accessible self-help book is a valuable resource for anyone seeking effective tools for navigating the roller coaster of life. Dialectical Behavior Therapy is renowned for helping individuals manage overwhelming emotions and cultivate healthier relationships. 

Therapist Partington brings Dialectical Behavioral Therapy into the self-help arena in this emotionally sensitive, entertaining guidebook. Through composite stories highlighting different DBT skills and how to implement them, Partington offers readers a toolbox of resilient approaches—and a way to practice DBT as an intuitive part of everyday life. The guidance is broken into four units—Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance—and structured in a modular fashion, allowing readers to access the area of their highest need. Each character’s story is correlated to psychologist and creator of DBT Marsha Linehan’s DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, a text Partington recommends using in tandem with this creative debut.

Teeming with bright, colorful illustrations by NIlufer Ustuner and Nataliia Mazepa, Partington’s straightforward teaching style and enthusiastic tone give the material an accessible, workbook feel, always welcoming and never overwhelming in its attempt to help readers “feel deeply accepted and understood.” Partington’s array of practice techniques—ranging from walking meditation to helpful acronyms to journaling prompts—are particularly helpful, as is her own disclosure of using DBT skills as a past therapy client, to work through her depression and suicidality. “Going through DBT as a patient, I found my toolbox and learned skills to change my life, my behavior (most of the time), and how I experience the world. For me, it was like being reborn . . . and just in time” she candidly shares.

Partington’s composite protagonists will be easy for readers to empathize with, but triggering material—like teen rape—makes for some potentially challenging reading. Still, the advice is comprehensive and articulate, with plenty of appealing exercises sprinkled throughout. Readers looking for a supplement to DBT therapy, or those who are curious to learn more about the approach, will find this articulation of its core concepts well worth their time.

Takeaway: Accessible and encouraging guide to DBT skills.

Comparable Titles: Marsha M. Linehan’s DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood, and Jeffrey Brantley’s The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A