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How can dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) help treat borderline personality disorder?

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Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a form of talk therapy that helps you identify and change negative thinking patterns and to change unhelpful behaviors. DBT focuses on high-risk, tough-to-treat people.

The American Psychiatric Association has endorsed DBT as effective in treating borderline personality disorder. It can lead to such improvements as:

  • less frequent and less severe suicidal behavior
  • shorter hospitalizations
  • less anger
  • less likely to drop out of treatment
  • improved social functioning

From: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Linehan, M.M. , July 2006. Archives of General Psychiatry

Dimeff, L. and Linehan, M.M. , 2001. The California Psychologist

Linehan, M.M. , 1999. The American Journal on Addictions

Robins, C.J. and Chapman, A.L. , 2004. Journal of Personality Disorders

Brody, J.E. , June 15, 2009. The New York Times

American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder."

National Institute of Mental Health: "Borderline Personality Disorder."

National Institute of Mental Health: Transcript of lecture on Feb. 8, 2011, by Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, to the NIMH.

Behavioraltech.org: "Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Diary Card."

Chapman, A.L. , September 2006. Psychiatry

Pennay, A. , July 8, 2011. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment

Bohus, M. , March 2011. Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol

Spoont, M.R. : , May 2003. Psychiatric ServicesA Journal of the American Psychiatric Association

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on February 21, 2018

SOURCES:

Linehan, M.M. , July 2006. Archives of General Psychiatry

Dimeff, L. and Linehan, M.M. , 2001. The California Psychologist

Linehan, M.M. , 1999. The American Journal on Addictions

Robins, C.J. and Chapman, A.L. , 2004. Journal of Personality Disorders

Brody, J.E. , June 15, 2009. The New York Times

American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder."

National Institute of Mental Health: "Borderline Personality Disorder."

National Institute of Mental Health: Transcript of lecture on Feb. 8, 2011, by Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, to the NIMH.

Behavioraltech.org: "Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Diary Card."

Chapman, A.L. , September 2006. Psychiatry

Pennay, A. , July 8, 2011. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment

Bohus, M. , March 2011. Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol

Spoont, M.R. : , May 2003. Psychiatric ServicesA Journal of the American Psychiatric Association

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on February 21, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

How can comprehensive dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) improve your life skills?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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