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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) was developed to treat suicidal and self-harming behaviours in patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), frequently perceived as extremely challenging to treat by many clinicians. This chapter reviews these challenges and demonstrates what strategies DBT adopts both in crisis intervention and long-term management to prevent suicide and non-suicidal self-harm. It, furthermore, reviews the research literature on the treatment outcome and efficacy of DBT to reduce these behaviours, their associated symptoms and consequential emergency room visits and psychiatric hospital admissions. The chapter then discusses which of the many therapeutic strategies DBT uses are likely to be the most important mechanisms of change with respect to reducing self-harming behaviours.

Keywords: Suicide, self-harm, non-suicidal self-injury, NSSI, borderline personality disorder, crisis intervention, long-term management, treatment outcome

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