S11: The implementation of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for young people presenting with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or emerging borderline traits in a metropolitan and regional headspace centre setting.

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By September 21, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Carly Clutterbuck, Emma Stafford

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Promotion, Prevention, Early Intervention,Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation, Lifespan – Children, Youth, Adults, Older People

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: We developed and implemented an accredited DBT program and DBT primer group in a youth mental health service in order to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention in reducing borderline personality traits and depression, anxiety and stress symptoms as well as increasing emotional regulation skills in an adolescent/young adult population in Australia. The participants completed an assessment, 3 pre-commitment sessions, and then attended 10 weekly individual DBT therapy sessions, 10 concurrent weekly group DBT therapy sessions, and had 24 hour phone coaching available to them. The therapists and group facilitators attended a weekly DBT consultation group to ensure model fidelity.

Results indicate clinically significant reductions in all but two subscales on the Difficulties in Emotional Regulation Scale (DERS) and the Behaviour Assessment Scale on the Borderline Symptoms List (BSL). The Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) returned significant improvements in all emotional states between mid and post measurement points. These results indicate an adolescent DBT program facilitated in a community youth mental health setting is a clinically effective intervention for clients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or emerging borderline traits.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: This presentation will outline the process and application of the DBT model in a community youth mental health setting. The model has been modified to fit within a 10 session Medicare structure to enable greater accessibility across a broad range of adolescent populations. This session will provide participants with a greater knowledge of how this model can be applied to young people in this setting, the challenges and benefits of implementation as well as the efficacy as an early intervention for Borderline Personality Disorder.

Learning Objective 2: There is a severe lack of services available to young people with emerging borderline traits or a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, especially in a community outpatient setting. The services that are currently available for this unique population are costly and limited. If left untreated, young people with emerging borderline traits may go on to develop a full diagnosis. Evidence indicates adults with BPD have more frequent presentations to emergency departments, higher rates of completed suicide attempts, consistently lower social and occupational functioning, more reliance on public mental health and social services and likelihood of developing other mental health disorders.

MacPherson, H.A., Cheavens, J.S. & Fristad, M.A. (2013). Dialectical behaviour therapy for adolescents: theory, treatment adaptations, and empirical outcomes. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 16(1), 59-80.
Predergast, N & McCausland, J. (2007). Dialectic Behaviour Therapy: A 12-Month Collaborative Program in a Local Community Setting. Behaviour Change, 24(1), 25-35.

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