Project Details


Description (provided by applicant): The study proposed here seeks to develop and test an intervention for the experience of shame in borderline personality disorder (BPD). Although the experience of shame is highly prevalent in this population, little is understood about how shame functions to maintain the pathology and even less is known about how to successfully treat it. Past research has indicated that the experience of shame is directly related to suicidal behaviors. These results suggest more attention needs to be paid to developing treatments that attend to the experience of shame. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), developed by Linehan, has been shown to reduce suicidal behavior in BPD. Although DBT encourages the use of exposure and opposite action techniques applied to negative emotions, such as shame, this component of DBT has not been previously examined. The current study will evaluate this component of DBT by enrolling nine women with borderline personality disorder (including three pilot subjects) in an eight-week exposure/opposite action treatment for the experience of shame. The study will utilize a multiple baseline, single-subject design in order to maximize the amount of information obtained about the efficacy of the intervention. Information obtained from this pilot project will be instrumental in further developing short, data-driven treatments for suicidal behavior in BPD.
Effective start/end date9/16/028/31/03


  • National Institute of Mental Health: $26,963.00


  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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