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DBT was the first psychotherapy shown to be effective in treating BPD in controlled clinical trials — the most rigorous type of clinical research. While DBT is no longer the only therapy to have shown effectiveness in controlled trials, it has grown a large evidence base and is considered one of the best treatments for BPD in terms of documented success rates.

International research on DBT can be found at:

  1. Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics
  1. Search using Google Scholar

Research in Australian on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is limited. The  Centre for Mental Health Education through the Australian DBT Institute is actively contributing to reducing this gap in research through our training and development programs as well as supporting the initiatives listed below.

Australian DBT Institute’s collaborative projects

2010-2015 Doctoral Research Project: RMIT University, VIC

Institute’s Input: Research access to training materials, evaluations and staff. PhD Candidate, Peter King (Director)

Research Questions: What are the most effective interventions for working with people with borderline personality disorder? What is the most effective type of service to provide support for people with borderline personality disorder?

Centre for Mental Health Education’s collaborative projects have included:

2005-2010 Jerrboongun Unity Foundation, VIC

CMHE Input: 10 DBT Day Intensive Training in 2008 (5 staff members attended), ongoing program mentoring, facilitation and development

Publications: Jerrboongun Indigenous Homeless Program, 2010

2005 Logan Adult Mental Health Service, QLD

CMHE Input: 10 Day DBT Intensive Training in 2005 (4 staff members attended)

Publications: N Prendergast, J McCausland, 2007 – Behaviour Change


  • 45% of participants had a significant reduction in the severity of self harming incidents, in that all attempts during the group met the criteria of ‘no danger’ at all.
  • The number and length of hospital stays decreased over both groups, saving the local hospital system $49 520.
  • There was a significant reduction in the duration of face to face contact by a total of 76 hours.
  • GAF results indicate significantly improved overall psychological, social and occupational functioning of participants’ following DBT.
  • 54% of participants, who had “severe” depression prior to the group, completed the group within the range of “moderate” to “minimal” depression.
  • Of participants that have completed the DBT program only 3 clients remain in the mental health service