Introducing A New Treatment Program (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) For People With Personality Disorders In A Public Mental Health Setting

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By May 13, 2015 No Comments

Authors: Anna Banfai and Michelle Plozza, VIC

Year: 2002

Event: 2002 TheMHS Conference

Subject: book of proceedings, Focus on Borderline Personality & Eating Disorders, borderline personality disorder, st vincents mental health melbourne

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a treatment program for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and has been applied in a wide range of settings. In this paper we discuss our experience of introducing a modified DBT program at St. Vincent’s Mental Health Service (Melbourne) over the last four years. Our program has included DBT components in a community mental health service, inpatient unit and community care unit. We present mostly qualitative but also some qualitative data. Our results (decreased bed-days, less frequent use of crisis support services and consumers’ increased ability to cope with difficult emotions, distress and relationships in general) suggest that DBT has been useful for consumers by teaching skills and instilling hope, as well as providing a sense of focus for staff in their work with this client group. We have found DBT to be compatible with the case management model. We strongly recommend the use of DBT in mental health settings, both for a well-defined sub-group of consumers with BPD and with consumers in general who need distress tolerance and emotion regulation skills.

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