Data Show That DBT Reduces Suicidal Behavior

By Jancin, Bruce | Clinical Psychiatry News, July 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Data Show That DBT Reduces Suicidal Behavior

Jancin, Bruce, Clinical Psychiatry News

SEATTLE -- Dialectical behavior therapy possesses far and away the strongest evidence base of any treatment aimed at reducing suicidal behavior, Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D., said at the annual conference of the American Association of Suicidology.

"There's no other therapy I know of that can show as many randomized studies all with the same effect size. There's consistency from the first study done in 1991 to now. So DBT is not a fluke. It is effective for suicidal behavior. Most people don't know that," said Dr. Linehan, professor of psychology and director of the behavioral research and therapy clinics at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Indeed, most therapists think of DBT in connection with borderline personality disorder (BPD), the challenging psychiatric condition for which Dr. Linehan initially developed the therapy a quarter century ago. DBT is now widely accepted as the first-line therapy for BPD based on nine randomized controlled trials.

Dr. Linehan has since gone on to systematically apply DBT for eating disorders, heroin addiction, and suicidal behavior, all in the context of comorbid borderline personality disorder.

"I know everybody thinks of me as the BPD person, but I've actually never thought of myself that way. I've always thought of myself as a suicide person. It just turns out that BPD is the only disorder where actual suicidal behavior is part of the diagnostic criteria," she said.

"BPD is the disorder of suicide experts," the psychotherapist asserted. "It should be, because that's where most of the suicidal people are. Not all of them, but a lot of them."

It's well known that BPD affects 1%-2% of the general population, and that the disorder is associated with an extremely high suicide rate of about 10%. Much less widely known is that BPD has been systematically excluded from most psychological autopsy studies because of the ranking system used. If a patient had BPD and major depression, for example, only major depression would usually get listed. A closer look at the excluded data reveals that a very large proportion of suicide completers meet diagnostic criteria for BPD.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Data Show That DBT Reduces Suicidal Behavior


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?