DBT in Greece (Part 2)

February 20, 2023
TAGS: DBT | Greece

This feature by Fragiskos Gonidakis, MD, PhD is Part 2 of 2 in a series about DBT in Greece. In the first part, Fragiskos shared the journey so far. Here in part 2, he reveals what is ahead for DBT in Greece. DBT is a worldwide community, and we are excited to shine a light on how DBT has developed in different regions and countries.

The Journey Ahead

At this point, we are preparing for the 2023 training. Going back to our hybrid model of comprehensive DBT training, we are going to do the first week of the training remotely and the four days of consultation to the teams in person. We are having teams coming from Greece, Cyprus, and Serbia. Konstantina, Maria, Vasso, Efi, Valia, and Christiana will act as co-trainers to Tony and Fragiskos.

We have started to record interviews from people suffering from BPD in order to create a podcast on BPD. It is going to be the second season of a podcast on mental health named “Talking about…”. The first season was dedicated to eating disorders, and the second will be on BPD with interviews from therapists, family members, and sufferers. The podcast will be available on Apple and Google podcast apps, Spotify, and YouTube.

Concerning research, Maria’s PhD thesis is on group DBT for Binge Eating Disorders while Efi’s PhD thesis is on the effectiveness of a short version of group skills training for family members of people suffering from eating disorder and BPD. Both are very close to having their results published. The statistical analysis conducted so far shows that both interventions based on DBT were quite effective in the alleviation of  eating disorder symptomatology and the emotional burden of the carer. We are now looking for ways to research the application of DBT for the treatment of other psychiatric disorders such as mood and anxiety disorders.

What 12 years of DBT has taught us is that some of our clients need long term treatment and support. That is something that — most of the time — is difficult to provide both in the public and private sector due to the large number of patients that seek treatment (public) and financial adversities (private). How can we help people that are suffering from a chronic type of BPD, progressing slowly, or are facing the excruciating consequences of multiple comorbidity? Are they in need of continuous individual therapy or a support group consisting of members that have concluded their DBT therapy but are still in need of psychological support and help with practicing their skills?

Some patients are asking us “Are you going to write another book on BPD?” Do we need more books in Greek on DBT? Definitely yes. We do need to have some of the excellent books on DBT translated in Greek as well as books written by Greek experts.

In conclusion, DBT in Greece has been an exciting journey so far but what lies ahead of us seems far more exciting. More and more amazing colleagues participate in the trainings run by BTECH and GABR. Our focal idea is that DBT’s unique essence lies in the notion of community. When we record the podcast with our patients, receive messages and photos of important moments from former clients, do consultation with our old trainees, or organize meet ups and informal dinners where colleagues that are no longer treating BPD clients show up just to get together with the rest of us, we know deep down in our wise minds that DBT has not only transformed the lives of our BPD patients but ours as well.

Read more from Fragiskos about how “We Are All Connected Mindfully.”

Fragiskos Gonidakis, MD is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUOA) Medical School. He is currently the Head of Eating Disorders Unit and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy service of NKUOA 1st Psychiatric Department at Eginition Hospital. Dr. Gonidakis has trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Systemic Family Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Read his full bio here.


Disclaimer: The Behavioral Tech Institute blog is designed to facilitate the sharing of ideas, experiences, and insights related to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). The content and views expressed in the articles, comments, and linked resources are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views, policies, or positions of Behavioral Tech Institute or staff. Content is provided for information and discussion purposes only and is not intended as professional advice. Contributors to the Behavioral Tech Institute blog are independent, and their participation does not represent an endorsement by Behavioral Tech Institute.