DBT: Effective and Evidence-Based
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is officially recognized by the Cochrane Review (Stouffer et al. (2012)) as the treatment of choice for characteristics associated with borderline personality disorder (BPD) including impulsivity, interpersonal problems, emotional dysregulation, self-harm, and suicidal behaviors. These same characteristics distinguish the clients labeled as most "difficult to treat" in our mental health system.
Current research also shows the cost-effectiveness of the DBT model. DBT offers Level 1 (highest level) evidence of efficacy and effectiveness, and is an evidence-based option for treating people with BPD that is likely to meet the objectives of funders, economists, accountants, administrators, providers, and consumers.
And as of this date, eighteen randomized controlled trials published on DBT demonstrate its utility across client groups with severe and complex disorders. There is also an ongoing trial with suicidal adolescents currently underway at the BRTC at the University of Washington in Seattle. Learn more about the DBT data to date.
The National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP, 2012) recently released a summary report of evidence-based treatments and their specific outcomes through 2006. This comparative effectiveness research makes a great resource as you promote DBT and other evidence-based models to your administrators and third party payers.
There is Hope
DBT, as a principle-based treatment, requires the therapist to treat the most important target first using the most up-to-date, researched treatment methods available. DBT also requires that therapists treat each other first in the consultation team. This fosters hope for both client and clinician, dialectically facilitating the hard work both perform in DBT.
There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the DBT community as the data supporting DBT's use continues to grow.
Learn about the evidence for DBT.