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Psychology Today discusses the use of Marsha Linehan’s DBT Skills to help people in their midlives.

Cecilia Dintino PsyD
Midlife Matters

How to Build a Midlife Worth Living

Skills that work in trying times.

Posted Apr 17, 2018

For years I have been teaching and coaching clients to use certain skills during painful times. Lately I've been teaching the skills to middle-aged women.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy —DBT—is a solution-focused, active treatment with the overarching goal to build a life worth living. Instead of just talking, you teach skills and ask the clients to practice them outside the session room. The skills, created by Dr. Marsha Linehan , are research-tested tools for managing thoughts, emotions and behaviors during trying times.

And middle age can be a trying time.

In 2016 the CDC published findings stating that the suicide rate for women between the ages of 45-64 increased by 63 percent between 1999 and 2014. Likewise, there is a significant increase in women over 50 visiting ERs with opiate and alcohol-related overdoses. And the number of women over 50 diagnosed with eating disorders has caught up to that of adolescent girls, necessitating an increase in residential treatment facilities to house the older women sufferers.

The middle-aged women in my practice are dealing with a myriad of challenging issues. They struggle with physical illness, divorce, difficult children, grief, regret, career shifts, financial issues, menopausal symptoms and body concerns. They experience mood shifts, intense anxiety, depressed feelings, irritability and hopeless thinking.

Regardless of what women experience, midlife is a time of challenge and transformation. We could all use extra guidance and new coping skills to help us through uncertainty and change. The beauty of the DBT skills is that when they are practiced, they open doors towards a deeper wiser experience of life.

There are many skills, but I have eight favorites for middle age woes...

Read the entire article here .