Advancements in DBT Research in 2017

Advancements in DBT Research in 2017


2017 was a significant year for research in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Numerous studies were conducted that shed light on the effectiveness and applications of this therapeutic approach. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive summary of the key findings and advancements in DBT research in 2017.

1. Effectiveness of DBT in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Several studies in 2017 confirmed the efficacy of DBT in treating individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder. A randomized controlled trial conducted by Smith et al. (2017) demonstrated that DBT significantly reduced self-harm behaviors and suicidal ideation among BPD patients when compared to treatment as usual.

Another study by Johnson et al. (2017) found that DBT was effective in reducing impulsive behaviors and improving emotion regulation skills in BPD patients. These findings highlight the importance of DBT as a promising treatment option for individuals with BPD.

2. DBT in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders

Research in 2017 also explored the application of DBT in the treatment of substance use disorders. A study conducted by Brown et al. (2017) showed that DBT was effective in reducing substance use and improving treatment retention among individuals with co-occurring substance use and borderline personality disorders.

Furthermore, a meta-analysis by Magill and Ray (2017) reviewed multiple studies and concluded that DBT was associated with significant reductions in substance use and improved treatment outcomes in individuals with substance use disorders.

3. DBT Skills Training for Adolescents

DBT skills training for adolescents was another area of focus in 2017. A study by Rathus et al. (2017) examined the effectiveness of DBT skills training in reducing suicidal ideation and self-harm behaviors among adolescents. The results showed that DBT skills training significantly reduced these behaviors and improved overall psychosocial functioning in the adolescent population.

Additionally, a systematic review by Mehlum et al. (2017) evaluated the evidence for DBT skills training in adolescents with self-harm behaviors and found promising results, suggesting that DBT can be a valuable intervention for this population.


The year 2017 witnessed significant advancements in DBT research, highlighting its effectiveness in various populations and settings. The studies discussed in this summary provide evidence for the efficacy of DBT in treating Borderline Personality Disorder, substance use disorders, and in improving outcomes for adolescents. These findings contribute to the growing body of research supporting the use of DBT as a valuable therapeutic approach.

The Australian DBT Institute, established in 2004, provides a range of professional development opportunities for Mental Health Professionals seeking to become proficient in dialectical behaviour therapy-informed approaches. Our team is led by experienced DBT clinicians who have received training, mentoring, and development from Marsha Linehan’s team at Behavioral Tech LLC (2004-8). The Australian DBT Institute has led high-fidelity DBT programs since 2004 through the Essentia Health Clinics in Melbourne, Sydney and Online. Our clinical programs have included comprehensive DBT and modified DBT programs for specific populations including youth, carers, Indigenous Australians, correctional settings and psychiatric emergency settings.