Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Modified DBT Helps Borderline, Axis I Patients

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Modified DBT Helps Borderline, Axis I Patients

Article excerpt

BOSTON -- A novel therapeutic approach based on dialectic behavior therapy appears to benefit patients with borderline personality disorder who have co-occurring Axis I disorders, Carol Hartford said at the American Psychiatric Association's Institute on Psychiatric Services.

Dialectic behavior therapy (DBT) is a structured, didactic program consisting of four main components--mindfulness training, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal skills training--taught in 20 weekly outpatient group sessions. Originally developed by Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D., for the treatment of borderline personality disorder, DBT has now been adapted to address a wide variety of other psychiatric diagnoses (Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic 51[3]:261-76, 1987).

However, many patients with severe Axis I conditions are unable to absorb and benefit from the rigorous classroom format and the abstract nature of the "mindfulness" component of conventional DBT, said Ms. Hartford of Washtenaw County Community Support and Treatment Services, Ann Arbor, Mich.

In response, the Washtenaw center, which treats patients with chronic and persistent mental illness, has developed a modified version of the DBT tailored for Axis I populations. …

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