Assessing a six-month dialectical behaviour therapy skills-only group
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Assessing a six-month dialectical behaviour therapy skills-only group

Jane Vickers Community mental health nurse and DBT therapist, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Cirencester

Results from a study of the effectiveness of a stand-alone treatment for people with borderline personality disorder and other serious mental illnesses

Background Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is recognised as a successful treatment for borderline personality disorder. There is a body of research suggesting it can be helpful for other diagnoses. A full DBT programme, however, is expensive. Emerging evidence suggests that using only the skills training part of DBT is an effective, less costly treatment option.

Aim To evaluate the effectiveness of a DBT skills-only training group as a standalone treatment for people with serious mental illness.

Method An examination of self-rated outcome measure scores and evaluation forms from 40 people with serious mental illness who have completed a group in the past four years.

Results Significant improvement in functioning and symptoms, particularly anxiety and depression difficulties, with certain skills perceived as most helpful.

Conclusion A DBT skills-only group appears to be an effective and cost-efficient treatment for people with serious mental illness.

Mental Health Practice. 19, 8, 26-30. doi: 10.7748/mhp.19.8.26.s19


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 02 December 2014

Accepted: 01 October 2015

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