Implementing dialectical behavior therapy

UMMS Affiliation

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Publication Date


Document Type



Cognitive Therapy; Evidence-Based Medicine; *Health Promotion; Humans; Leadership; Mental Disorders


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral approach to treating borderline personality disorder. Early empirical results are promising, although they are not sufficient to establish DBT as an evidence-based practice in community settings. Nevertheless, the treatment has been widely implemented by mental health authorities, program leaders, and clinicians. The authors describe DBT's four stages of treatment, the functional areas addressed, and the treatment modes used as well as the reasons for the appeal of DBT to practitioners. They review barriers encountered by those who have implemented the model and present strategies that have been developed to overcome the barriers.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Psychiatr Serv. 2002 Feb;53(2):171-8.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.)

PubMed ID