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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Many individuals receiving Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) meet criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a debilitating disorder associated with increased impairment in multiple domains of functioning. While DBT has been shown to be effective in treating a wide variety of mental health problems, it has historically been less effective at treating PTSD. This chapter describes an integrated treatment model that combines DBT with the DBT Prolonged Exposure (DBT PE) protocol, which is based on Prolonged Exposure therapy and is designed to increase formal and systematic targeting of PTSD during DBT. It reviews DBT’s stage model of treatment and describes how DBT is used in Stage 1 to stabilize and prepare high-risk and multi-problem clients for the DBT PE protocol in Stage 2. It then describes the rationale and procedures of the DBT PE protocol, highlights common clinical challenges, and reviews the developing evidence base for the treatment. Finally, it discusses common barriers to implementing DBT PE in routine practice settings and suggest potential solutions.

Keywords: Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Prolonged Exposure protocol, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), implementation

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