Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Maryann Syers

Second Advisor

Laura Boisen

Third Advisor

Brigitte Ferneyhough


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) has become increasingly prevalent in the mental health field (Linehan, 1993). Approximately 1-3% of the population is diagnosed with BPD (Linehan, Oldham, & Silk, 1995). Throughout the past decade, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has been utilized in the treatment of BPD. Six mental health practitioners were interviewed to determine the effectiveness of DBT with BPD. The research question addressed the ability of individuals with BPD to learn effective problem-solving skills in the areas relating to suicidal/self-mutilating behaviors, number of hospitalizations, interpersonal relationships, impulsiveness, and emotional instability. Some common themes discovered from the practitioners thoughts/perceptions about the DBT model included: an agreement among all practitioners that DBT is an effective method of treatment for BPD, there is an overwhelming belief that severe childhood abuse/trauma has a direct impact on the development of BPD in adulthood, and three of the six practitioners suggest concern regarding the validity of the diagnosis BPD and believe it may be more accurately termed PTSD.


SC 11.MSW.2000.Larson.LB

Included in

Social Work Commons