On self-report measures, the DBT patients demonstrated significantly improved depression, anxiety and general symptom severity scores compared to the treatment-as-usual group.
Linehan’s assessment of the therapies available to BPD clients at the time was that traditional treatments were “woefully inadequate” (1993, p 3).
DBT assumes that people are doing their best but lack the skills needed to succeed, or are influenced by positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement that interferes with their ability to function appropriately.
DBT is a modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), that was developed in late 1980s by Marsha M.
Her first core insight was to recognize that the chronically suicidal patients she studied had been raised in profoundly invalidating environments, and, therefore, required a climate of loving-kindness and somewhat unconditional acceptance (not Rogers' positive humanist approach, but Hanh's metaphysically neutral one), in which to develop a successful therapeutic alliance.
Her second insight involved the need for a commensurate commitment from patients, who needed to be willing to accept their dire level of emotional dysfunction.