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J Trauma Stress. 2010 Aug;23(4):421-9. doi: 10.1002/jts.20553.

Dialectical behavior therapy as a precursor to PTSD treatment for suicidal and/or self-injuring women with borderline personality disorder.

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  • 1Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics, Department of Psychology, University of Washington, 3935 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.


This study examined the efficacy of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in reducing behaviors commonly used as exclusion criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment. The sample included 51 suicidal and/or self-injuring women with borderline personality disorder (BPD), 26 (51%) of whom met criteria for PTSD. BPD clients with and without PTSD were equally likely to eliminate the exclusionary behaviors during 1 year of DBT. By posttreatment, 50-68% of the BPD clients with PTSD would have been suitable candidates for PTSD treatment. Borderline personality disorder clients with PTSD who began treatment with a greater number of recent suicide attempts and more severe PTSD were significantly less likely to become eligible for PTSD treatment.

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