You wrote …

Dear Marie-Paule,
I want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy & HEALTHY New Year.  While this was a very challenging year for us all, I realize my daughter and I still have things to be grateful for.  At the top of my list is the work she and I have done with you, Julia and your colleagues.  Thank you for helping me to trust you and to recognize the benefit of the therapy. I am grateful for the relationship my daughter and I now enjoy.
With my gratitude and admiration,


Thank you for all the help over the past eight months. Also, thank you for [your work] with my [family]. We have benefited tremendously and our relationship gets better every day. Thank you for listening and guiding us. Sincerely,

I don’t know where to start to thank you enough for how you have changed my life. Your expertise with mental health disorders and your ability to share this understanding in the most compassionate way has enabled me to reconnect with my adult daughter in a way that I never thought was possible.

I am very grateful I found your Family Connections class as it opened up the opportunity to work with you and gain a whole new perspective and skill set when dealing with a family member with a serious mental disorder. I truly feel blessed to have met you. Thank you for giving me another chance with my daughter.


I  have a 17 year old son who has Borderline Personality Disorder traits along with some other difficult psychological challenges. Our family has been through a lot in our loving (and sometimes misguided) attempts to help him. (…) I am currently receiving coaching/counseling from Marie-Paule on a weekly basis. This has proven invaluable to me and my family in countless ways:
– I no longer feel “alone” in solving the often difficult day to day interactions with my son
– Our relationship has improved as I learn and practice mindfulness skills
– My fear and grief have been reduced, and my confidence increases with each small success
– My relationship with other family members improves because I have the support I need I am learning to focus on long term goals, and take care of myself
– I am learning what it must be like for him to live with this disorder every day
– Lastly, I see positive changes in my son as my own behavior changes!
Of course there are still days when I feel overwhelmed and sad. I know that I won’t be judged for this, and I can count on Marie-Paule to understand (she has been there!), adjust, and hone in on what I need to do in the moment. The ripple effect on our family has been tremendous…


Thank you for being kind and offering comfort on my first day, I was ready to run for the hills!  I was touched by your empathy and I will never forget you. *judgment statement*: you are an awesome counselor and a special person to work so closely with others the way you do and show a sincere caring for our well being. *observation actually. Lol. Sincerely,

I am certain you hear this all the time, but this was incredibly helpful. The truly astounding part is the dramatic impact it had on us. We are calmer, more in control, and able to step back and observe. …would not have believed it possible when we started.

Thank you for your commitment. You are genuinely helping people improve their lives, not many of us can say that.


Marie-Paule, I can’t tell you how much I’m thankful for having you as a clinician […] Thank you so much for helping me understand who I am.

I know that DBT and our work with Families On The Line  have been game changers both for our son and for us as we learn how to best support him and how to take care of ourselves on this journey

You have helped me tremendously with “benign, benign, benign” and the thought that the most important thing is my relationship with my kid. After so much well-intentioned advice to the contrary the best results have been obtained from being loving, supportive, positive and leaving her alone to figure out what she wants to do…

With much appreciation.


Marie-Paule, thank you so much. I feel I can’t express my gratitude. No one has given me this much concern ever in my life except my mother and yet it is very different. You helped give me a different outlook on everything and made everything good, and if not good, at least bearable. […] Thank you for never giving up on me that day or any day and always having a good listening ear. I will always remember: “Just the facts”.

How do you learn to radically accept the seemingly insurmountable challenges that come with parenting a child, a young adult child, with borderline personality disorder? How do you have the courage to make decisions that “feel” counterintuitive but at the same time prevent us from enabling our drug-addicted sufferer of borderline to fall more deeply into a pit of self-destruction and despair? How do you learn to be nonjudgmental when our loved one makes apparently irrational decisions because she is operating solely from her “emotion” mind? How do you come to see that your deep compassion for your loved one is killing YOU?

For me it has been through working with Marie-Paule de Valdivia on the skills of DBT. This challenging journey continues but now with times of true contentment for spending some quality times with my daughter, who despite it all, I truly love.

I cannot begin to thank you enough, Marie-Paule, for being with me throughout every crisis and for your guidance, support and never-ending encouragement on this very difficult path.


Marie-Paule, as a parent and a social worker in the field for over thirty years, I can truly say you are one of the best therapists I know. I would not hesitate, and will continue to refer my clients and friends to you. Your ability to connect with people and assess their situation is extremely good, even though phone coaching consultations.

The DBT model that you use is a very “user friendly” model. You provide parents with skills they can apply following their first meeting with you that make a profound difference. I can truly attest that you were life changing for my family. I only wish I’d known you sooner!

Equally important, for those of us parents who have struggled with the shame, guilt and self-blame of parenting a child who “doesn’t fit the mold”, you bring a deep sense of compassion and empathy. Your willingness to share your own successes and failures helped lighten the load! Thank you! Thank You!


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