P1: VENDOR/LOV/GCP/GDP P2: GOQ/FYJ
Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] PH048-340222 May 28, 2001 10:31 Style ﬁle version Nov. 19th, 1999
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4, 2001
THE APPLICATION OF DIALECTICAL
BEHAVIOR THERAPY FOR PATIENTS WITH
BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER
ON INPATIENT UNITS
Charles R. Swenson, M.D., Cynthia Sanderson, Ph.D.,
Rebecca A. Dulit, M.D., and Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D.
Inpatient treatment of individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD)
is typically fraught with difﬁculty and failure. Patients and staff often become
entangled in intense negative therapeutic spirals that obliterate the potential
for focused, realistic, and effective treatment interventions. We describe an
inpatient treatment approach to BPD patients which is an application of Di-
alectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients
with BPD which has been shown to be effective in reducing suicidal behav-
ior, hospitalization, and treatment dropout and improving interpersonal func-
tioning and anger management. The inpatient DBT staff creates a validating
treatment milieu and focuses on orienting and educating new patients and
identifying and prioritizing their treatment targets. Inpatient DBT treatment
Charles R. Swenson, M.D., is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, University of
Massachusetts Medical Center, and Area Medical Director, Western Massachusetts Area,
Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. Cynthia Sanderson, Ph.D., is Director of
Training, Behavioral Technology Transfer Group. Rebecca A. Dulit, M.D., is Clinical As-
sistant Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Research
Psychiatrist, Department of Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatric Institute. Marsha
M. Linehan, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology, University of Washington, and Director,
Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics, University of Washington.
Address correspondence to Charles Swenson, M.D., 695 Kennedy Rd., Leeds, MA 01053.
2001 Human Sciences Press, Inc.