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Today’s episode of Hope to Recharge is sponsored by DBT Path 

DBT Path offers entirely online DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) skills classes for those who experience intense or dysregulated emotions. Our psychoeducational courses are taught by our founder, a peer in recovery from borderline personality disorder, and a licensed DBT-trained psychotherapist. Learning and practicing DBT skills can help create balance within us as well as in our relationships of all kinds (family, friends, workplace, romantic, etc..), and help those of us with intense emotions — whether it’s from borderline personality disorder, bipolar, PTSD, anxiety, or other reasons, to create the lives we want and deserve. Enrollment opens soon. Sign up now at


Two experts in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Drs. Galen and Aguirre, have just released a new book called DBT for Dummies. They are experts in explaining this to average people with no background in psychology. Together, we explore one of the basic tenets of DBT: radical acceptance. I tell clients about this practice all the time, and there’s always so many questions about how it works.

Dr. Aguirre shares with me his journey of embracing DBT. He was realizing that he would help his friends or himself feel better in different ways than he would help his clients, and the inconsistency didn’t make sense. The first day he first experienced DBT mindfulness by observing a raisin in his mouth was eye-opening, and as he explored more, he found DBT provided a logic that he had not found other places. He and his colleagues have been amazed to see the transformation in the lives of young DBT clients who have found no hope or help anywhere else. Kids who were once in constant emotional distress and wanting to die have learned how to cope with suffering. Families have learned how to support them and cope with their struggles themselves.

Dr. Galen breaks down the process of radical acceptance for us. It starts with acknowledging the reality of our current moment. Once we can accept the facts about our situation, we can begin to pinpoint what is causing problems and come up with solutions for our pain or take steps toward a goal that we have been too afraid to pursue. Accepting what is means releasing what isn’t (usually, a hope, belief, or relationship). This is often quite difficult and leads people to avoid the entire situation rather than embrace and grow from it. Another hiccup is that even after we have accepted something in this moment, we will get triggered into non-acceptance again later by a memory. And when that happens, we must start the process over again. But hopefully, it will be easier after the first time.

Almost every person who is learning this concept asks, “But how can I accept that my future is bleak??” That is not what radical acceptance is about. You cannot accept a future that hasn’t happened yet. Anything in the future is simply a fictional story. One of the most important ideas to understand is that we can only accept now. We also cannot change the past. We can only accept the present it has led us to. If we’re worried about a bleak future, the best thing we can do is live in the present and make choices that will hopefully turn our future towards where we want to go. And if we must tell stories about the future, why not positive ones? Negative stories so often lead to self-fulfilling prophecies of doom.


Connect with Gillian Galen & Blaise Aguirre

New book: DBT for Dummies:
Blaise’s Instagram:
Gillian’s Email:



  • “You can’t accept a future that hasn’t happened because it hasn’t happened. So all we can do is accept the very moment that we’re in.” @GillianGalen @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge
  • “It’s very difficult to accept things that you don’t like, but the reality of it doesn’t change. Whether you like something or not.” @BlaiseAguirre @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge
  • “The person that I become in non-acceptance is not the person who I want to be. He’s not the person who’s going to be helpful to my family, to my friends, to my patients, to my loved ones. Because if I lose a child and now I am angry, you know what? I’ve lost more than one child. I’ve lost my relationships. I’ve lost my friends.” @BlaiseAguirre @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge
  • “There’s tension there. I can disagree with something. I can think that it’s unfair because it might be unfair. And I can accept it so that… I’m not lost too.” @GillianGalen @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge
  • “[People think] if I accept it, I agree with it. No, no, no. They’re two totally separate things. I can be grateful and I can be in pain. It means a practice in dialectical thinking.” @GillianGalen @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge


Topics Discussed 


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