Emotional experiences of clients with borderline personality disorder in dialectical behavior therapy: An empirical investigation of in-session affect

Alexandra M. King, Shireen L. Rizvi, Edward A. Selby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a diagnosis characterized by intense and labile emotion; dialectical behavior therapy, a common treatment for BPD, aims to reduce the intensity and lability of clients' emotion through multiple methods, some of which occur in the therapy session, with the expectation that changes will generalize to the rest of clients' lives. However, little research has examined how BPD clients' affect presents and varies in session or whether affect in session reflects patients' patterns of affect outside of treatment. This study had 2 aims: (a) to explore changes in clients' positive and negative affect in therapy, and (b) to assess if the severity of client psychopathology relates to affect in treatment. Positive and negative affect ratings were collected from clients (N = 73) at the start and end of every individual therapy session (total sessions = 1,474). Hierarchical linear modeling and linear regression were used to examine patterns of affect and assess the relationship between affect and severity. Results indicated that positive affect increased while negative affect decreased between the start and end of sessions, with the same pattern of change in presession affect from week to week. In addition, increased BPD severity was associated with lower presession positive affect ratings and higher negative affect ratings. Further exploration is needed to assess which dialectical behavior therapy treatment processes contribute to changes in in-session affect and how in-session affect relates to treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-472
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Emotion dysregulation
  • Positive and negative affect

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Emotional experiences of clients with borderline personality disorder in dialectical behavior therapy: An empirical investigation of in-session affect'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this