Mastering the art of chain analysis in dialectical behavior therapy

Shireen L. Rizvi, Lorie A. Ritschel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Behavioral chain analyses, which are common in behavioral and cognitive-behavioral treatments more broadly, are the primary assessment tool in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). As such, they are conducted in nearly every DBT session. Despite their importance in the treatment, very little has been written about the "how-tos" of chain analyses in DBT or how to improve therapist skill in this area. This article describes the rationale and proposed functions of chain analyses, provides details about the various components of the chain analysis, and includes common problems that arise in conducting chain analyses. A case example of a detailed chain analysis is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-349
Number of pages15
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology


  • Behavioral assessment
  • Chain analysis
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Solution analysis

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