This is the page where you can get to know me a little bit. First of all, I am obsessed with Dialectical Behavior Therapy–lots of people who go through DBT start teaching their friends and family skills even while they are still in group. That’s because the skills work! And once you are using skills, you want other people to have the opportunity to improve their lives too.
I went through DBT as a client, before I became a therapist. I had struggled with depression and suicide since I was a kid. Finally at 39 years old, during a brutal divorce, I was fortunate enough to find a DBT therapist, even though I had no idea what DBT was at the time. When I was told I would be given a tool box of over a 100 ways to do things differently, it felt like the therapy I had been looking for my whole life.
I had done a lot of insight therapy, ploughed through my childhood traumas over and over again. Bringing the stories to each new therapist at different stages of my life, and I was tired of telling those stories. I felt like I understood why I was the way I was, I wanted to become someone different. I wanted to be able to manage the intense emotions that had been messing up my life.
In DBT group, I learned amazing skills. Sometimes it was incredibly hard work. Because changing is hard work. But the great thing about skills is that they work. So the more you use them, the more you WANT to use them.
And then…..I decided to become a DBT therapist. And now! I am even writing a self-help book about applying DBT skills to your life!
How I became a DBT therapist
In 2012, I graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. I wrote my Master’s thesis on effective ways to teach DBT skills. During graduate school, I sat in on a lot of different DBT groups. And attended many professional trainings (including a 10 day intensive) and trainings with the creator of DBT, Marsha Linehan. I found that some of the groups were very inspiring and others were pretty dry (kind of boring….) The material was amazing, but the presentation was often off putting. I had done training in other kinds of therapy, including experiential therapy and I come from a theatre background–so I was sure that there must be ways of teaching skills that are more engaging.
For five years I participated in Vanderbilt’s DBT consultation team, where I continued to learn more about all aspects of being a DBT therapist. Then in 2016 I founded the Music City DBT Consultation Team, training and providing support for other therapists and psychiatrists that were interested in using DBT with their clients. In the years since graduate school, I have given DBT trainings at many prestigious residential treatment and out patient programs. In 2014 I launched my own private practice and have worked with a wide range of clients of all ages, socio economic backgrounds, the queer community, celebrities and all kinds of people struggling with severe mental health issues or those that just need a little bit of help making their lives better
Just a little more personal background…in case you are curious
I grew up all over the world. My mom worked for the Ford Foundation so we traveled a lot. I was born in Washington DC, but I spent my childhood in Nicaragua, the Philippines and Indonesia attending International Schools with kids from over 54 nations. I am dyslexic which caused enormous academic challenges for me in my childhood.
I returned to the United States in 1987 for college. At Occidental College in Los Angeles, I double majored in Theatre and Film. And then spent several years working as a fundraiser for a very prestigious theatre company, Center Theatre Group, while working on small film projects. Then my life took a significant turn when I got married and became a full time mom. I spent thirteen years raising my kids before going to graduate school. I have two amazing children who are both adults now!
I have a great sense of adventure, have continued to travel extensively as an adult. I love to dance and sing and hike and cuddle with my two sweet cats. And generally enjoy the fruits of living a skillful life.
Though I am still based in Nashville, where I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with a mental health specialization, I am mostly seeing clients on line, as I am traveling extensively.
DBT for Life: Stories and Guidance for Applying DBT skills to your life
There are lots of great books about DBT, but I felt like none of them really provide a guide for how DBT skills work in real life. So I am writing that book–and I am so excited! The book will feature short stories that illustrate how DBT skills are put in to practice, then a clear explanation of the skill and ideas for practice. I am working with two illustrators, so the book will come alive in full color!
If everything goes according to plan, the book will be released in January of 2024. Feel free to contact me for updates about the release.
I would love to hear from you–there are so many reasons to connect. If you are looking for a therapist that does DBT, or you already have a great therapist (of any kind) but just want to add DBT Skills training classes to your treatment, or you are a clinician or treatment program looking for resources. Please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diana is currently licensed to practice counseling in the state of Tennessee.
“I have been fortunate enough to shepard many people through immense pain and suffering, into a skillful life that is deeply meaningful to them. It is such a priviledge to work with the suidicidal population and help a client shed suicidal ideation. Letting that be something they used to experience, but haunts them no more.”Diana Partington
Therapy and Education Services
You can contact Diana at email@example.com about Individual DBT therapy and DBT Groups if you are in the state of Tennessee. If you are out of state, please ask about her DBT classes. Please see the DBT Skills Training Services page.