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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The complex relationship between mental health and employment is transactional and unique to each individual. Thus the decision to commence (or return) to employment for this population requires an individualized formulation emphasizing the dialectical tension between the benefits of employment and stressors in the workplace. In addition, unemployment is associated with a number of social exclusion risks which may impact upon an individual’s mental health. Vocational functioning in those with personality disorder (PD) is more compromised than social functioning and does not improve in direct association with change in mental health symptoms. Obtaining and retaining employment requires the ability to manage workplace emotions, behaviour, and relationships. Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment that addresses these key areas of dysfunction—adaptations for employment include DBT-W, DBT-ACES, and DBT-SE, each with their own focus. Feasibility studies have shown these adaptations are acceptable to and may be effective for participants.

Keywords: Employment, vocational, DBT-W, DBT-ACES, DBT-SE, group

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