Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department/Program

Forensic Psychology

Language

English

First Advisor

Patricia Zapf

Second Reader

Diana Falkenbach

Third Advisor

Cynthia Calkins

Abstract

Attitudes towards individuals with BPD are generally pessimistic (Cleary, Siegfried, & Walter, 2002; Fraser, 2001; McIntosh, 1998). Training as an intervention, in the form of different theoretical orientations, has been shown to improve attitudes among mental health professionals. However, few studies (Fraser, 2001; Hazleton et al., 2006; Carmel, Fruzzetti, & Rose, 2014) have investigated whether Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT; Linehan, 1991) can improve attitudes towards individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The current study was conducted at a 3-day DBT skills training workshop and sought to examine the impact of DBT skills training on attitudes towards individuals with BPD. Using a pre-and post-test design, confidence and knowledge regarding the practice of DBT, and attitudes towards individuals with BPD, were compared prior to and after the 3-day DBT skills training workshop. Results indicate a significant increase in participant’s willingness to treat individuals with BPD after completion of the DBT skills training workshop. Results are discussed as they pertain to continued professional development, with limitations and future research delineated.

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