Dr. Marsha Linehan, The Creator of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Founder of DBT Dr. Marsha Linehan
Founder of DBT Dr. Marsha Linehan

Dr. Marsha Linehan is the creator of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), a treatment approach we specialize in at the Youth and Family Institute – Los Angeles. DBT is the gold standard treatment for patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and severe emotion dysregulation.

For patients with BPD, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is effective in eliminating suicide and self-harm behaviors, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improving patient’s life skills and relationships.

For decades, Dr. Linehan has been known as an expert in BPD, but in 2011 she made the courageous decision to come forward about having Borderline Personality Disorder herself. In an interview for the New York Times, she opened up about how she was hospitalized for two years when she was 17 to prevent herself from completing suicide. Dr. Linehan shared how while she was in the hospital, she felt hopeless because the treatments weren’t targeted to her needs and didn’t seem to help.

Her experiences coping with BPD and thinking about the treatments she wished she had at 17 inspired her to pursue a PhD and create a treatment specifically for folks who struggle with emotion dysregulation, suicide, and self-harm. Having these experiences give her a unique perspective that helped her save countless other lives and create a much-needed treatment. Her journey is inspirational. We recommend reading more about it in this article.


Marsha Linehan Acknowledges Her Own Struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder” – Published for PsychCentral by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on June 27, 2011  Read article.


Los Angeles Area Resources

Free Resources

Growing list of ideas for activities (nature, art, social, volunteering, etc.), and ideas for getting active, which is also an important part of feeling better.

Our team provides comprehensive DBT and other evidence-based treatments to help make positive changes in the lives of children, young adults, and their families.

Contact Info
Follow Us

Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved.