An illustration of dialectical behavior therapy

Authors

  • Marsha M. Linehan

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, Box 351525, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1525
    • Department of Psychology, Box 351525, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1525
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Abstract

This article describes a form of behavior therapy called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), developed by Linehan for treatment of the seriously and chronically suicidal patient. The author describes the following characteristics of DBT: 1 theoretical perspective (dialectics, biosocial/behavior), 2 treatment stages and targets, and 3 treatment strategies, including dialectical strategies, core strategies (validation and problem-solving), change procedures (use of operant learning principles, skills training, and exposure/response prevention techniques from behavior therapy and cognitive modification techniques taken primarily from rational-emotive therapy), communication strategies (irreverent and reciprocal communication), and case-management strategies (consultation to the patient, environmental intervention, supervision/consultation with therapists). Some aspects of DBT are represented in a case presentation together with transcripts of several sessions. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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