DBT Peer Connections

Building Hope, Community and Skillful Means

From Poetry to Wise Mind: A Book Of Poems, A DBT Journey

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Generic cover imageFrom Poetry to Wise Mind


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From Poetry to Wise Mind is the first self-published book and collection of poems by Rachel Gill (aka Pinki Tuscaderro). It is a creative reflection of her journey toward recovery from borderline personality disorder (BPD). The central theme that defines the poems demonstrates how using poetry is an effective means to apply dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills from a wise mind perspective. The collection is heart-felt and deeply personal. Support a starving poet and mental health advocacy!


This project is a little different from the DBT worksheets, videos, articles and essays that I create and distribute to my DBT/BPD peer community. The main message behind the poems is that of hope, particularly for people who struggle with emotional problems and their friends and family. Poetry is the language of emotion so it makes sense that it would be an effective means for expressing difficult emotions that tend to have loaded cultural and personal associations of morality attached to them like fear, shame, guilt, and sadness. Poetry allows the writer and the audience to observe and perceive stigmatized emotions as an experience rather than as a character reference.

The inspiration to re-discover my life long love of poetry writing happened while attending a mindfulness training in 2013 with Dr. Marsha Linehan (The founder of DBT). She read pieces from Song of the Bird by Anthony de Mello and it struck me how well poetry communicates complicated qualities of emotions. After writing a few poems, it was amazing how writing added a completely new dimension to my skills practice, particularly for emotional processing, which is a current focus of mine as a stage 2/3 client in dialectical behavior therapy.

When I write, sing, play guitar my emotional intensity transforms from a shameful product of stigma to an admirable form of creative expression. It is a synthesis of dialectical tension that creates a space where I can learn to love and let go of hating the wildly difficult nature of my emotions. Inspiration moves me to soothe myself without resistance. Therefore, I stop attempting to regulate and control my emotions  and instead respect them, listen to them, allow them to be.

– Rachel Gill aka Pinki Tuscaderro


Author: Rachel Gill

I am a survivor on mission to synthesize balance from division, to find dialectical healing, learn to love what I am feeling, live in the now, show my peers how.

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