Dialectical behavior therapy skills use as a mediator and outcome of treatment for borderline personality disorder.

University of Washington, Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics, Department of Clinical Psychology, Seattle, 98195-1525, USA.
Behaviour Research and Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.85). 09/2010; 48(9):832-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.05.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A central component of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is the teaching of specific behavioral skills with the aim of helping individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) replace maladaptive behaviors with skillful behavior. Although existing evidence indirectly supports this proposed mechanism of action, no study to date has directly tested it. Therefore, we examined the skills use of 108 women with BPD participating in one of three randomized control trials throughout one year of treatment and four months of follow-up. Using a hierarchical linear modeling approach we found that although all participants reported using some DBT skills before treatment started, participants treated with DBT reported using three times more skills at the end of treatment than participants treated with a control treatment. Significant mediation effects also indicated that DBT skills use fully mediated the decrease in suicide attempts and depression and the increase in control of anger over time. DBT skills use also partially mediated the decrease of nonsuicidal self-injury over time. Anger suppression and expression were not mediated. This study is the first to clearly support the skills deficit model for BPD by indicating that increasing skills use is a mechanism of change for suicidal behavior, depression, and anger control.

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    ABSTRACT: Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)-informed skills training for borderline personality disorder (BPD) aims at the development of specific emotion regulation skills in patients, particularly with regard to the regulation of problematic anger. While the effects of dialectical behaviour skills training have been shown, their processes of change are rarely examined. Neacsiu, Rizvi and Linehan (2010) found that patient's self-reported use of emotion regulation skills was a mediator of therapeutic change in these treatments; however, they found no effect for problematic anger. From an integrative perspective on anger (Pascual-Leone & Greenberg, 2007; Pascual-Leone & Paivio, 2013), there are several forms of anger, varying in their degree of therapeutic productivity. The present add-on randomized controlled trial included n = 41 patients with BPD (n = 21 DBT-informed skills training versus n = 20 treatment as usual). The first study examined the outcome of the DBT-informed skills training encompassing basic components of training in mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and emotion regulation. Results showed that symptom reduction was significantly greater in the DBT-informed skills training, compared with the treatment as usual. The second study used process assessment, for which all patient completers underwent a 50-min-long psychological interview both early and late in treatment, which was rated using the Classification of Affective Meaning States. DBT-informed skills training produced increased levels of primary 'assertive' anger, as compared with the treatment as usual, whereas no effect was found for 'rejecting' secondary anger. Most importantly, we showed that changes in assertive anger mediated the reported symptom reduction, in particular in patient's social roles. We discuss these results in the context of underlying mechanisms of change in DBT skills group treatments, in particular towards developing more productive forms of anger in this patient population. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. A 20-session dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)-informed skills training is a promising adjunct intervention for patients with borderline personality disorder, in particular for reducing problems related to social role. Increases in assertive anger mediate the effects of DBT-informed skills training, whereas rejecting anger remains unchanged over the course of treatment. Short-term objectives for intervention might involve the specific increase of assertive anger in BPD, by using DBT-informed skills training; long-term objectives for intervention might involve a specific decrease of rejecting anger in BPD. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy 04/2015; DOI:10.1002/cpp.1956 · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies; 11/2014
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    Journal of Psychotherapy Integration 01/2015; DOI:10.1037/a0038877

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