Building a Life Worth Living

Book reviews

Written by: Ellen Young


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Written by: Marsha M. Linehan

Jumping on the naturally occurring book review theme of this week, memoirs, I wanted to talk about Building a Life Worth Living, by world-renowned psychologist, Marsha M. Linehan.

As someone who is constantly trying to improve my mindfulness skills and therefore practicing “radical acceptance,” often, this book helped give insight into the world of mental health, practicing or finding peace, and in her own words, “If I can do it, you can do it.”


Mindfulness in the workplace and at home indeed has its benefits. From building resilience amongst co-workers, employees, and the leaders of a project, to practicing empathy and building a company that may move with the groove rather than react or thrive in a fear-based way. As with most wisdom or skillsets, it starts with the personal, it starts at home and pretty soon all other aspects of our lives begin to benefit.

Her writing is amiable, but it does feel a bit disorganized at times. Some of the language she uses could be said to be a bit outdated for 2020 by some, but alas, I am a Gender Studies student, so being critical has become almost a little too second natured. I would have enjoyed a little more thorough examples and discussion of her personal life, however I really enjoyed the background of her proven methods that have been so successful in the therapy world and are still used today.

A Lasting Impact

If you have ever considered suicide, had friends who have committed suicide, or a family member who talks about suicide, this book is relevant. Linehan strives to answer the question, “How do we balance acceptance and change?” in a way that allows her readers to arm themselves with life skills. These life skills translate into, “Building a life worth living.”

If I had to describe this book in one word, that word would be, “constructive.” •