Problem Area: Borderline Personality Disorder

2015 EST Status: Treatment pending re-evaluation Very strong: High-quality evidence that treatment improves symptoms and functional outcomes at post-treatment and follow-up; little risk of harm; requires reasonable amount of resources; effective in non-research settings

Strong: Moderate- to high-quality evidence that treatment improves symptoms OR functional outcomes; not a high risk of harm; reasonable use of resources

Weak: Low or very low-quality evidence that treatment produces clinically meaningful effects on symptoms or functional outcomes; Gains from the treatment may not warrant resources involved

Insufficient Evidence: No meta-analytic study could be identified

Insufficient Evidence: Existing meta-analyses are not of sufficient quality

Treatment pending re-evaluation

1998 EST Status: Strong Research Support Strong: Support from two well-designed studies conducted by independent investigators.

Modest: Support from one well-designed study or several adequately designed studies.

Controversial: Conflicting results, or claims regarding mechanisms are unsupported.

Strength of Research Support

Empirical Review Status
2015 Criteria
(Tolin et al. Recommendation)
Very Strong
Strong
Weak
Insufficient Evidence
Treatment pending re-evaluation
1998 Criteria
(Chambless et al. EST)
Strong
Modest
Controversial

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Brief Summary

  • Basic premise: A subset of individuals experience emotions more intensely than others. In order to regulate heightened emotions, they tend to react in a more extreme and impulsive manner (e.g., self-harm, suicide attempts). It is thought that a lack of awareness and acceptance of these emotional experiences interferes with developing more effective coping strategies for distress.
  • Essence of therapy: Dialectical behavior therapy teaches clients behavioral skills in mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation.
  • Length:Varies, but usually lasts 1-1.5 years including both individual therapy and skills groups

Treatment Resources

Editors: David Albert, PhD; Stephanie Goldstein, BS

Note: The resources provided below are intended to supplement not replace foundational training in mental health treatment and evidence-based practice

Treatment Manuals / Outlines

Books Available for Purchase Through External Sites

Training Materials and Workshops

Measures, Handouts and Worksheets

  • DBT® Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets (Linehan)

Self-help Books

Important Note: The books listed above are based on empirically-supported in-person treatments. They have not necessarily been evaluated empirically either by themselves or in conjunction with in-person treatment. We list them as a resource for clinicians who assign them as an adjunct to conducting in-person treatment.

Smartphone Apps

Important Note: The apps listed above are based on empirically-supported in-person treatments. They have not necessarily been evaluated empirically either by themselves or in conjunction with in-person treatment. We list them as a resource for clinicians who assign them as an adjunct to conducting in-person treatment.

Video Demonstrations

Video Repository
  • Sitting in on Therapy with MML (Linehan & Koerner): Part 1

Embedded video for members only

  • Sitting in on Therapy with MML (Linehan & Koerner): Part 2

Embedded video for members only

  • Sitting in on Therapy with MML (Linehan & Koerner): Part 3

Embedded video for members only

  • Sitting in on Therapy with MML (Linehan & Koerner): Part 4

Embedded video for members only

  • Dialectical behavior therapy with Marsha Linehan (clip). See full video here.

Embedded video for members only

  • Dialectical behavior therapy with Alan Fruzzetti

Embedded video for members only

Videos Available for Purchase Through External Sites

Video Descriptions

Video Repository
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (BPD Resource Center)

Embedded video for members only

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Theory, Treatment, & Research (Fruzzetti)

Embedded video for members only

  • Rethinking BPD: A Clinician’s View (Linehan)

Embedded video for members only

Videos Available for Purchase Through External Sites

Clinical Trials

Meta-analyses and Systematic Reviews

Other Treatment Resources