DBT with an inpatient forensic population: The CMHIP forensic model

7 May
 Author links open overlay panelRobin A.McCann Elissa M.Ball Andre Ivanoff

Implementation of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in a forensic or criminal justice setting differs dramatically from standard outpatient DBT. Forensic patients are multiproblem patients with violent histories and multiple diagnoses including borderline personality disorder (BPD), antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), and concomitant Axis I psychotic or mood disorders. DBT was selected for this population because of its emphasis on treating life-threatening behaviors of patients and therapy-interfering behaviors of both patients and staff. The forensic inpatient DBT model described here includes modification of agreements, targets, skills training groups, and dialectical dilemmas. An additional skills module, the Crime Review, was developed to supplement standard DBT. Conclusions and recommendations for applying DBT in a forensic setting are presented.

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