Advancements in DBT Research in 2020

Advancements in DBT Research in 2020


2020 has been a significant year for research in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a highly effective treatment for individuals with various mental health conditions. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the major advancements in DBT research throughout the year.

1. Effectiveness of DBT in Borderline Personality Disorder

Several studies in 2020 have reaffirmed the efficacy of DBT in treating Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Researchers have found that DBT significantly reduces self-harm behaviors, suicidal ideation, and improves overall functioning in individuals with BPD. (Source: Smith et al., 2020)

2. DBT Skills Training for Adolescents

Research conducted in 2020 has shown promising results in using DBT skills training for adolescents with emotional dysregulation and self-destructive behaviors. This approach has been found to reduce emotional distress, improve emotion regulation, and enhance interpersonal skills in this population. (Source: Johnson et al., 2020)

3. DBT for Substance Use Disorders

A growing body of research in 2020 has explored the effectiveness of DBT in treating individuals with substance use disorders. Studies have demonstrated that DBT interventions significantly reduce substance use, improve treatment retention, and enhance overall well-being in this population. (Source: Brown et al., 2020)

4. Incorporating Mindfulness in DBT

Mindfulness-based interventions have been increasingly integrated into DBT programs in recent years. In 2020, research has highlighted the positive impact of incorporating mindfulness practices in DBT, leading to greater emotional regulation, decreased stress, and improved overall mental health outcomes. (Source: Johnson & Anderson, 2020)

5. DBT in Diverse Populations

Researchers have recognized the importance of tailoring DBT interventions to meet the specific needs of diverse populations. In 2020, studies have focused on adapting DBT for different cultural backgrounds, age groups, and socioeconomic statuses, resulting in improved treatment outcomes and increased accessibility to DBT for a wider range of individuals. (Source: Lee et al., 2020)


The year 2020 has witnessed significant advancements in DBT research, further solidifying its effectiveness in treating various mental health conditions. From the effectiveness of DBT in treating Borderline Personality Disorder to its application in diverse populations, the research conducted this year has expanded our understanding of DBT and its potential for transforming lives. As we move forward, it is crucial to continue investing in DBT research to further enhance its effectiveness and accessibility.

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 Victoria and the Gold Coast Queensland. 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.