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Alan Fruzzetti speaks at McClean on Family Skills and Family Interactions with BPD

Professor who developed therapy for uncurable mental illnesses wins 2017 Grawemeyer Award in Psychology

The institute’s mission is to transfer the principles of dialectical behavior therapy to more practitioners and to aid current practitioners with the burnout that can come with working with heard-to-treat patients.

Professor who developed therapy for ‘uncurable’ mental illnesses wins 2017 Grawemeyer Award in Psychology
By MELISSA CHIPMAN | December 3, 2016 6:00 am

Marsha Linehan, director of University of Washington’s Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics, Center for Behavioral Technology, has been selected as the 2017 Grawemeyer Award winner in Psychology.

Disorders like borderline personality and suicidal ideation have long been considered nearly impossible to treat, but Linehan has developed dialectical behavior therapy, which has shown positive effects during studies. The treatment is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that teaches four skills to clients: mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and emotion regulation.

“In addition to being considered the state-of-the-art treatment for chronically suicidal individuals, dialectical behavior therapy has been found to be effective for other behavioral disorders, including eating disorders, addiction, anxiety related disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression,” said Professor Woody Petry, award director, in a news release.

Linehan is a Zen master and is credited for bringing Zen-informed practices, like “being fully present in the moment,” into mainstream psychotherapy.

“At a young age, I vowed to get myself out of hell and then to go back and get others out,” said Linehan, who acknowledged publicly in 2011 her own longtime struggle with suicidal ideation and behaviors similar to those found in borderline personality disorder.

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CBT most effective treatment for repeat self-harm

CBT seems to be effective in patients after self-harm. Dialectical behavior therapy did not reduce the proportion of patients repeating self-harm but did reduce the frequency of self-harm.

CBT most effective treatment for repeat self-harm
Hawton K, et al. Lancet Psychiatry. 2016;doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30070-0.

Recent findings showed cognitive behavioral therapy after self-harm was effective while dialectical behavior therapy did not reduce repeat self-harm but reduced frequency of self-harm.

“Self-harm (intentional acts of non-fatal self-poisoning or self-injury) is common, particularly in young adults aged 15 to 35 years, often repeated, and strongly associated with suicide. Effective aftercare of individuals who self-harm is therefore important,” Keith Hawton, FMedSci, of the University of Oxford, and colleagues wrote.

To assess efficacy of psychosocial interventions for self-harm in adults, researchers conducted a Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis of 29 randomized controlled trials with three independent trials of the same intervention for adults with recent self-harm.

http://www.healio.com/psychiatry/suicide/news/online/%7Ba5986951-5515-4dee-802a-a0ecbf453f3a%7D/cbt-most-effective-treatment-for-repeat-self-harm

What’s so great about mindfulness?

Mindfulness

Mindfulness

It has been integrated into many different treatments since the mid 90s for chronic pain, depression and, perhaps most famously, borderline personality disorder via DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy).

What’s so great about mindfulness?
Kyle MacDonald
5:00 PM Thursday Mar 3, 20167 comments

I’ve been told I should meditate for my anxiety, but it’s too hard. Any tips?Anxious, Napier

Mindfulness is very trendy at the moment, and it’s not often you can say that about a psychological treatment. But it isn’t all incense, throw cushions and sitting cross-legged with your eyes shut.

So what is mindfulness and why is it so popular?

Mindfulness comes from Buddhist traditions and is a series of meditation techniques that help with mental focus, concentration and emotions by way of improving our ability to more actively control our attention.

It has been integrated into many different treatments since the mid 90s for chronic pain, depression and, perhaps most famously, borderline personality disorder via DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy).

With practice we can all improve our ability to not let our mind “run away” with emotions, painful thoughts or difficult memories.

It’s particularly effective for anxiety and protecting against relapse in depression.

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Having borderline personality disorder helps me in my NHS job

People with personality disorders are often the most vulnerable in society, but providing adequate treatment isn’t cheap or easy.

Having borderline personality disorder helps me in my NHS job

Some people have said it’s a career death sentence but my lived experience of mental health problems makes me a more compassionate clinician

I work for the NHS as a psychological wellbeing practitioner. I love it. I want to give something back and help others as, in my early twenties, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), one of the most stigmatised mental health conditions. People suffering with BPD are often described as manipulative, violent, attention-seeking and impossible to treat. The label itself is a problem, appearing to suggest someone’s personality, who they are, is inherently disordered. Growing up in an invalidating environment or experiencing prolonged trauma in your early years doesn’t mean you are untreatable. Offered the right treatment, those who have been diagnosed with personality disorder can get better.

I grew up in a house blighted by domestic violence. At 15 I was in a sexually and emotionally abusive relationship. At 18 I left him and managed a year at university. Then my mental health deteriorated significantly. Intense emotions appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and kept me in a state of intense fear and hopelessness. I felt like my body was about to explode and that my terror and shame would kill me. To cope I would self-harm or take overdoses; these were rarely life threatening, more an act of desperation in not knowing how to cope with my suffering and the empty void in my chest that was unbearably painful. The depths of the hopeless desperation are difficult to convey in words.

Trips to A&E occurred frequently. I was often treated as a nuisance. Some staff were very kind, but overall I experienced a shocking lack of compassion, an experience shared by many. For five years I was passed from one mental health professional to another. These appointments were months apart, often less than half an hour, and I wasn’t offered any treatment. I was asked to remove my clothing, and a nurse called me fat. I was told I was being “a silly little girl” and was untreatable, a hopeless case.

After my mum demanded help for me I was eventually offered dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), designed to treat BPD. I still don’t know why the decision was made to refer me. BPD was never mentioned. I feel it could have easily been a lucky guess.

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Call for more tailored approach to mental health

“I’m fed up with hearing that CBT is the answer to everything. Borderline personality disorder doesn’t respond to CBT but I’ve been offered it four times.”

Call for more tailored approach to mental health

A woman from Powys who has borderline personality disorder has called on the Welsh government to tailor mental health services towards individuals.

Sarah Harmon, 22, from Presteigne, has spoken to politicians to offer recommendations to improve treatment.

She said a “one size fits all” approach of offering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) did not suit everyone.

The Welsh government said it had worked with health boards to improve access to psychological therapies.

Ms Harmon said: “I’m fed up with hearing that CBT is the answer to everything. Borderline personality disorder doesn’t respond to CBT but I’ve been offered it four times.

“You swing between extreme emotions and there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground.

“It makes you quite sensitive to things and it can be hard to manage. When you feel something it’s so intense, you just don’t know what do with it.”

‘Experts’

Ms Harmon applied for one of the 20 spaces in her area for dialectical behaviour therapy, which was specifically developed to treat her disorder, but was unsuccessful.

“I felt like it was my only chance to get better and it was gone,” she said. But she kept applying and began receiving the therapy this year.

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