Julie Nohre

Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Often individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) suffer from emotion dysregulation: uncontrollable mood swings, impaired thought processes, impulsive and reckless behaviors, and chaotic relationships (National Institute of Mental Health, 2012) thus impairing their functional abilities and their quality oflife. There is no known cause at this time; however, researchers suggest that genetics, abnormal brain development, and environment play a major factor the development of a BPD. Not only is the individual affected but also those who surround the patient such as families, fiiends, society, health care professionals, and community providers. The constant maladaptive behaviors often lead to minimal supports thus resulting in further exacerbation of the symptoms associated with BPD. Initially BPD was viewed as a non-treatable illness; however, research has proven that psychotherapy is an effective treatment. Research shows DBT is the most effective psychotherapy for BPD as evidenced by a decrease in suicides, suicidal ideations, self-injurious behaviors, symptom severity and improvement of overall functioning and quality oflife. DBT entails teaching four basic behavioral skills: distress tolerance, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness. Not only has DBT shown to be effective for the patient, but there are also benefits for society and health care providers. DBT has proven to be effective in reducing health care utilization thus reducing healthcare costs. Lastly, DBT has shown to be effective in promoting a therapeutic relationship between the patient and mental health provider and as a result further compliance of appointments and treatment recommendations have been seen