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Psychotherapy (Chic). 2008 Mar;45(1):28-41. doi: 10.1037/0033-3204.45.1.28.

A controlled trial of psychodynamic psychotherapy for co-occurring borderline personality disorder and alcohol use disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate Medical University.


A randomized controlled trial was conducted to determine whether a manual-based psychodynamic treatment, labeled dynamic deconstructive psychotherapy (DDP), would be feasible and effective for individuals with co-occurring borderline personality disorder (BPD) and alcohol use disorder. Thirty participants were assessed every 3 months during a year of treatment with either DDP or treatment as usual (TAU) in the community. DDP participants showed statistically significant improvement in parasuicide behavior, alcohol misuse, institutional care, depression, dissociation, and core symptoms of BPD, and treatment retention was 67% to 73%. Although TAU participants received higher average treatment intensity, they showed only limited change during the same period. The results support the feasibility, tolerability, and efficacy of DDP for the co-occurring subgroup and highlight the need for further research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

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