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 Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients with BPD which has been shown to be effective in reducing suicidal behavior, hospitalization, and treatment dropout and improving interpersonal functioning 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 techniques include contingency management procedures, skills training and coaching, behavioral analysis, structured response protocols to suicidal and egregious behaviors on the unit, and consultation team meetings for DBT staff.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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