Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Karen Carlson


Social Work


The purpose of this study was to explore the research question: what are the key elements of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that make it effective when working with people with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)? Using a qualitative design, 6 participants from mental health agencies in Twin Cities, MN were interviewed. A semi-structured interview of fourteen questions was used based on the literature review to further explore the research question. Findings suggest that there is not one main element that makes DBT effective when using DBT with people with a diagnosis of BPD, but several elements that come together in order to make it an effective treatment approach. The therapists provided supporting evidence that DBT is an effective treatment model with this population.

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Social Work Commons