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Community Ment Health J. 2013 Feb;49(1):25-32. doi: 10.1007/s10597-012-9485-2. Epub 2012 Feb 14.

Utilization of evidenced based dialectical behavioral therapy in assertive community treatment: examining feasibility and challenges.

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The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21244, USA.


Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs have been treating individuals with chronic and severe mental illness since the 1970s. While ACT programs were developed to address the treatment needs of severely mentally ill persons traditionally suffering from chronic mental illnesses, ACT programs are seeing a growing number of persons with co-morbid personality disorders. The efficacy of traditional ACT programs in treating individuals with co-occurring personality disorders is uncertain, in particular individuals with co-morbid Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has been proposed as an effective approach to treating clients with BPD in this setting. The purpose of this paper is to examine the value of DBT for individuals with BPD in ACT programs. The writers discuss the prevalence of Borderline Personality Disorders in ACT populations, briefly review the literature on DBT in ACT, address the feasibility of implementing DBT in an ACT model, examine potential barriers to this implementation, and highlight potential areas for future research.

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