Clinical experts complete advanced DBT training

1 September 2016

Twenty-one St Andrew’s nurses, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and psychiatrists have now completed Intensive Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) training - a known effective treatment for individuals with Borderline Personality disorder.

The training adds to the charity’s expertise in this area, which includes 50 staff who have trained as DBT group facilitators, and more than 260 staff who have completed DBT orientation.

Lead Consultant Psychologist, Dr Emily Fox, said the charity had experienced an increased demand for this therapy, partially due to the NICE Guidelines (published in 2009) recommending DBT for patients with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder who engage in frequent self-harming behaviours.

The charity now has a growing reputation for providing specialist DBT treatment in inpatient settings.

“This has been a great undertaking for the charity, which ensures we now have more expertise to help treat young people and adults with emotionally unstable personality disorder,” Dr Fox said.

“We’ve recognised DBT as an invaluable way to treat patients who are presenting with severe aggression towards others and self, and were one of the first providers to offer this type of inpatient programme.

“Since opening our first designated DBT treatment unit in 1999, we now have nine wards specifically structured to offer comprehensive DBT as a psychological treatment.

“DBT is an important and effective therapy with potentially life altering benefits, so it has been really impressive to continue this development within our wards.”

National DBT trainer and Chair of the Society for DBT, Dr Christine Dunkley, said St Andrew’s had a long standing reputation for delivering a very high standard of DBT in some of the most serious cases of mental health illness in the country.

“Having provided training nationally, I can affirm that the quality of the DBT therapy delivered here at St Andrew’s is high,” Dr Dunkley said.

“The excellent Dr Emily Fox is well known nationally for her clinical expertise in DBT, which is something which extends to the St Andrew’s name more broadly. I am a big fan of this organisation for not only investing in staff training, but giving staff the resources they need to deliver the treatment.”

The British Isles certified DBT training took place over seven months. During this time participants worked in teams to deliver a case presentation, an informational poster and an overview of the DBT programme they will be delivering in their wards. Each participant has received a certificate from British Isles DBT Training, co-sponsored by Behavioral Tech LLC, Washington.