Building a Life Worth Living: A Memoir

Written by:
Marsha M. Linehan
Narrated by:
Stephen Mendel , Hillary Huber

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
January 2020
12 hours 19 minutes
Marsha Linehan tells the story of her journey from suicidal teenager to world-renowned developer of the life-saving behavioral therapy DBT, using her own struggle to develop life skills for others.

“This book is a victory on both sides of the page.”—Gloria Steinem

“Are you one of us?” a patient once asked Marsha Linehan, the world-renowned psychologist who developed Dialectical Behavior Therapy. “Because if you were, it would give all of us so much hope.” 

Over the years, DBT had saved the lives of countless people fighting depression and suicidal thoughts, but Linehan had never revealed that her pioneering work was inspired by her own desperate struggles as a young woman. Only when she received this question did she finally decide to tell her story.

In this remarkable and inspiring memoir, Linehan describes how, when she was eighteen years old, she began an abrupt downward spiral from popular teenager to suicidal young woman. After several miserable years in a psychiatric institute, Linehan made a vow that if she could get out of emotional hell, she would try to find a way to help others get out of hell too, and to build a life worth living.  She went on to put herself through night school and college, living at a YWCA and often scraping together spare change to buy food. She went on to get her PhD in psychology, specializing in behavior therapy. In the 1980s, she achieved a breakthrough when she developed Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a therapeutic approach that combines acceptance of the self and ways to change. Linehan included mindfulness as a key component in therapy treatment, along with original and specific life-skill techniques. She says, 'You can't think yourself into new ways of acting; you can only act yourself into new ways of thinking.'

Throughout her extraordinary scientific career, Marsha Linehan remained a woman of deep spirituality. Her powerful and moving story is one of faith and perseverance. Linehan shows, in Building a Life Worth Living, how the principles of DBT really work—and how, using her life skills and techniques, people can build lives worth living.
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Very Educational & Inspiring All At The Same Time

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The book is drenched with optimizm and although I appreciate the fact that Marsha shared her experience, I did not find much information that would help me recover. I feel that her attachment to religion distances me from her to the point that I dont believe I can apply her advices. this was interesting but definitly didn't change my perception of life and world. Also I did not like the narrator - but thats subjective I think.

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Mark B.

As a military veteran and medical professional with Bordeline and severe PTSD, it was absolutely refreshing and stimulating to read such a raw and beautiful journey, and one that resonates so deeply with my life. Thank you for all your dedication to a treatment that looks past the sometimes darkest and most desperate points of a human beings mind and still maintain genuine empathy and sympathy and compassion to a person who's a prisoner of their mind and help them navigate out and find a better quality and means of interactions in a society that doesn't fit our emotions and processes. Thank you!! From all of us!

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Tali B.

her life story in detail, I was hoping for a few more practical tips

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