Relationships between techniques and outcomes for borderline personality disorder.

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American journal of psychotherapy 01/2010; 64(4):359-71.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although a number of psychotherapeutic modalities for borderline personality disorder (BPD) have empirical support, it is unclear what aspects of treatment are responsible for improvement. The present study analyzes the relationships between different techniques and outcomes in a randomized controlled trial of dynamic deconstructive psychotherapy (DDP) for comorbid BPD and alcohol-use disorders. Video recordings of psychotherapy sessions at 3-month intervals were rated to measure therapeutic alliance and the relative frequencies of specific treatment interventions. Outcomes included measures of borderline symptoms, depression, dissociation, social support, alcohol misuse, parasuicide, and institutional care. Discrete sets of techniques were associated with reliable changes in specific outcomes, indicating that treatments for BPD should be tailored to the specific constellation of symptoms presenting in a given individual. The study findings suggest that treatments with a specified set of techniques, such as DDP, dialectical behavior therapy, mentalization-based treatment, schema therapy, supportive therapies, and transference-focused psychotherapy, may be helpful for different individuals, depending on their particular set of symptoms.

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