What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a disorder of difficult and intense emotions and impulsivity, problems in relationships, and sometimes suicide attempts and/ or self-injurious behaviour..
What are the different forms DBT can take?
Because DBT has been found useful for people struggling with severe difficulties, it has been adapted for use in a range of treatment settings. DBT skills are now commonly taught on inpatient units and as components of some outpatient-based mental health care. The proliferation of DBT is a clear indication of its effectiveness and an exciting development for those committed to helping those suffering from BPD. At the same time, it is important that clinicians and consumers alike be able to distinguish an adaptation of DBT from comprehensiveDBT as it was originally developed.
What DBT services does Broadleaf Health offer?
To our knowledge, we offer one of the few comprehensive DBT programmes in Ontario. This programme includes all 4 treatment modes offered by clinicians with years of training and experience in DBT.
We also offer an evidence-based adaptation of DBT in the form of a 20-week skills group only course. While there is less evidence supporting this skills training course, recent research suggests that it may also be an effective treatment for some of the difficulties targeted in comprehensive DBT. This course may or may not include individual therapy. Taking the skills training course without individual therapy may be a more financially feasible option for consumers who are experiencing low financial resources.
What do clients learn in skills group?
There are 4 groups of skills that people learn to utilize in their daily lives:
- Mindfulness skills help people focus more effectively on the present moment and work to move away from ruminative or judgmental ways of thinking.
- Distress Tolerance skills help clients cope with negative and painful emotions and situations and reduce emotional pain and suffering.
- Emotion Regulation skills are designed to aid the improvement of mood and increase positive emotions.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness skills help people build and maintain healthy relationships.
What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)?
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based practice for the treatment of BPD. According to most recent research summaries, DBT is the most effective treatment in reducing features of BPD. Research shows that for many people, DBT is effective in reducing anger, suicide attempts, emergency room visits, days in hospital, depression, binge-eating and other difficulties. As a comprehensive treatment approach, DBT achieves these benefits by focusing on teaching people skills for how to respond to life’s difficulties more effectively.
In short, while it is impossible to predict the impact of treatment for any one individual, mental health consumers can be more confident in the possible benefits of DBT than in any other treatment for BPD or emotion dysregulation and impulsivity more generally.
Why is it important to distinguish between adaptations and comprehensive DBT?
While adaptations may provide a useful treatment option for those with BPD, the vast majority of research focuses on DBT as a treatment that includes four different treatment modes:
- Individual therapy focused on motivation and work toward clearly identified goals
- Skills training group focused on teaching skills for effective living
- Between appointment contact with clinician to help the client practice skills outside the therapy office
- A consultation team for the clinician to continue to strengthen his or her own skills even after formal training in DBT is completed.
What do Broadleaf Health clinicians do to support those suffering from BPD beyond their work at Broadleaf Health?
Our clinicians are actively involved in multiple aspects of the fight to improve the lives of those suffering from emotional difficulties.
Training: Our clinicians have trained over a thousand mental health care providers across Canada working to improve the lives of those suffering from BPD and related difficulties. We train clinicians in a range of settings including private practices, community mental health centres, hospital inpatient units, correctional services, and elsewhere.
Outreach: We have also taken part in stigma reducing public forums designed to increase hope and knowledge about BPD. These include participation in events such as the annual BPD Awareness Forum at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and events hosted by SashBear, a group dedicated to eradicating stigma suffered by those with mental illness, especially those with BPD.
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