A Foot In Each World

A tree growing on a cliff surrounded by colorful clouds

A Foot In Each World

Written by Steven Diggs, PhD

Nysa Therapy is almost 20 years old now. It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for so long. But, the truth is, treating personality disorder is very hard and it takes a long time to get things right; a real long time. So, let me take you back to the real start, the 1970s. I took my first college course in psychology in 1972. I was the only student in my class to read all 600 pages of Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams.” I didn’t have a clue what I was reading but I was fascinated, I loved it. I have studied psychology continuously since then, 45 years in all, and, I still love it; I’m still fascinated.

But more importantly, at around the same time my own severe personality disorder began to destroy me and my life. In 1976 I ended up in my first therapist’s office barely able to speak, shut down, extremely depressed, in a word: broken. If you add it all up I have had a total 14 years of weekly psychotherapy from five different therapists all in an effort to put an end to my personality disorder. Sadly, none of them were able to help me. They were all good people who did their best. But, they did not have an approach to therapy that could fix me. During the years that followed my initial breakdown I had two more major breakdowns and countless failures due to my personality disorder. This caused me a great deal of pain but also hurt the people around me, the people I loved and cared about. Honestly, it has been horrible.

It could be rationalization (I am certainly good at that) or it could be real, but I believe it has always been my destiny to help create a truly effective treatment for personality disorder. Nysa therapy comes from two places inside of me: my lifetime of intensive study in psychology and a lifetime struggle with my own personality disorder. I have a foot in each world. I know the world of clinical psychology and I know the world of suffering with personality disorder. Somehow, those two worlds have come together to create Nysa Therapy.

It is a great honor and joy for me to be a serious participant in the huge enterprise of our society of therapists to create a cure for personality disorder. It is thrilling to watch patients get well, and happy, and alive through our therapy. And, in the end, I feel a sense of redemption that my struggles and the pain I’ve caused others may be the strongest contributor to a therapy that truly heals personality disorder.

– Steve Diggs, PhD