Efficacy Trials

Efficacy research refers to studies of DBT that were completed in academic research settings. The list below only includes randomized controlled trials (RCTs). For a summary that includes other types of efficacy studies (e.g., quasi-experimental studies), please refer to the Non-RCT Research Data.

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Standard DBT for Adults with BPD

*Listed in reverse chronological order

Linehan, MM, Korslund, KE, Harned, MS, Gallop, RJ, Lungu, A, Neacsiu, AD et al. (2015). Dialectical behavior therapy for high suicide risk in individuals with borderline personality disorder: A randomized clinical trial and component analysis. JAMA Psychiatry, 72, 475-482.

Carter, GL, Willcox, CH, Lewin, TJ, Conrad, AM, & Bendit, N (2010). Hunter DBT Project: Randomized controlled trial of dialectical behaviour therapy in women with borderline personality disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44, 162-173.

McMain, SF, Links, PS, Gnam, WH, Guimond, T, Cardish, RJ, Korman, L., & Streiner, DL (2009). A randomized trial of dialectical behavior therapy versus general psychiatric management for borderline personality disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 1365-1374.

Linehan, MM, McDavid, JD, Brown, MZ, Sayrs, JH, & Gallop, RJ (2008). Olanzapine plus dialectical behavior therapy for women with high irritability who meet criteria for borderline personality disorder: A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 69, 999-1005.

Clarkin, JF, Levy, KN, Lenzenweger, MF, & Kernberg, OF (2007). Evaluating three treatments for borderline personality disorder: A multiwave study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 922-928.

Linehan, MM, Comtois, KA, Murray, AM, Brown, MZ, Gallop, RJ, et al. (2006). Two-year randomized controlled trial and follow-up of DBT vs therapy by experts for suicidal behaviors and BPD. JAMA Psychiatry, 63, 757-766.

Verheul, R, van den Bosch, LM, Koeter, MW, De Ridder, MA, Stijnen T et al. (2003). Dialectical behaviour therapy for women with borderline personality disorder: 12-month, randomized clinical trial in the Netherlands. British Journal of Psychiatry, 182, 135-140.

van den Bosch, LM, Verheul, R, Schippers, GM, & van den Brink, W (2002). Dialectical Behavior Therapy of borderline patients with and without substance use problems: Implementation and long-term effects. Addictive Behaviors, 27, 911-923.

Linehan, MM, Dimeff, LA, Reynolds, SK, Comtois, KA, Welch, SS et al. (2002). Dialectical behavior therapy versus comprehensive validation therapy plus 12-step for the treatment of opioid dependent women meeting criteria for borderline personality disorder. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 67, 13-26.

Linehan, MM, Schmidt, H, Dimeff, LA, Craft, JC, Kanter, J, & Comtois, KA (1999). Dialectical behavior therapy for patients with borderline personality disorder and drug-dependence. American Journal of Addictions, 8, 279-292.

Linehan, MM, Heard, HL, & Armstrong, HE (1993). Naturalistic follow-up of a behavioral treatment for chronically suicidal parasuicidal borderline patients. Archives of General Psychiatry, 50, 971-974.

Linehan, MM, Armstrong, HE, Suarez, A., Allmon, D, & Heard, HL (1991). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of chronically parasuicidal borderline patients. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48, 1060-1064.

Standard DBT for Adolescents

*Listed in reverse chronological order

Elizabeth McCauley, PhD; Michele S. Berk, PhD; Joan R. Asarnow, PhD et al (2018). Efficacy of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Adolescents at High Risk for Suicide: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online June 20, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.1109

Mehlum, L, Ramberg, M, Tørmoen, AJ, Haga, E, Diep, LM, et al. (2016). Dialectical behavior therapy compared with enhanced usual care for adolescents with repeated suicidal and self-harming behavior: outcomes over a one-year follow-up. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 55, 295-300.

Goldstein, TR, Fersch-Podrat, RK, Rivera, M, Axelson, DA, Merranko, J, Yu, H, Brent, DA, & Birmaher, B (2015). Dialectical behavior therapy for adolescents with bipolar disorder: Results from a pilot randomized trial. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 25, 140-149.

Mehlum, L, Tørmoen, AJ, Ramberg, M, Haga, E, Diep, LM et al. (2014). Dialectical Behavior Therapy for adolescents with repeated suicidal and self-harming behavior: A randomized trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 53, 1082-1091.

DBT Adapted for PTSD

*Listed in reverse chronological order

Harned, MS, Korslund, KE, & Linehan, MM (2014). A pilot randomized controlled trial of Dialectical Behavior Therapy with and without the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Prolonged Exposure protocol for suicidal and self-injuring women with borderline personality disorder and PTSD. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 55, 7-17.

Bohus, M, Dyer, AS, Priebe, K, Kruger, A, Kleindienst, N et al. (2013). Dialectical behaviour therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder after childhood sexual abuse in patients with and without borderline personality disorder: A randomised controlled trial. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 82, 221-233.

DBT Skills Training as a Standalone or Adjunctive Treatment

*Listed in reverse chronological order


McMain, SF, Guimond, T, Barnart, R, Habinski, L, Streiner, DL. (2017). A randomized trial of brief dialectical behaviour therapy skills training in suicidal patients suffering from borderline disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 135, 138-148.

Soler, J, Pascual, JC, Tiana, T, Cebria, A, Barrachina, J et al. (2009) DBT skills training compared to standard group therapy in borderline personality disorder: A 3-month randomised controlled clinical trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47, 353-358.


Safer, DL, Robinson, AH, & Jo, B. (2011). Outcome from a randomized controlled trial of group therapy for binge eating disorder: comparing dialectical behavior therapy adapted for binge eating to an active comparison group therapy. Behavior Therapy, 41, 106-120.

Hill, DM, Craighead, LW, & Safer, DL (2011). Appetite-focused dialectical behavior therapy for the treatment of binge eating with purging: a preliminary trial. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 44, 249-261.

Safer DL, Telch CF, & Agras WS. (2001). Dialectical behavior therapy for bulimia nervosa. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158, 632-634.

Telch, CF, Agras, WS, & Linehan, MM (2001). Dialectical behavior therapy for binge eating disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69, 1061-1065.


Fleming, AP, McMahon, RJ, Moran, LR, Peterson, AP, & Dreessen A. (2015). Pilot randomized controlled trial of dialectical behavior therapy group skills training for ADHD among college students. Journal of Attentional Disorders, 19, 260-271.

Hirvikoski T, Waaler E, Alfredsson J, Pihlgren C, Homstrom, A, et al. (2011). Reduced ADHD symptoms in adults with ADHD after structured skills training group: results from a randomized controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49, 175-185.


Van Dijk, S, Jeffrey, J, & Katz, MR. (2013). A randomized, controlled, pilot study of dialectical behavior therapy skills in a psychoeducational group for individuals with bipolar disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 145, 386-393.

Harley R, Sprich S, Safren S, Jacobo M, & Fava M. (2008). Adaptation of dialectical behavior therapy skills training group for treatment-resistant depression. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 196, 136-143.

Lynch, TR, Morse, JQ, Mendelson, T, & Robins, CJ. (2003). Dialectical behavior therapy for depressed older adults: a randomized pilot study. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 11, 33-45.


Uliaszek, AA, Rashid, T, Williams, GE, Gulamani, T. (2015). Group therapy for university students: A randomized control trial of dialectical behavior therapy and positive psychotherapy. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 77, 78-85.

Neacsiu, AD, Eberle, JW, Kramer, R, Wiesmann, T, & Linehan, MM. (2014). Dialectical behavior therapy skills for transdiagnostic emotion dysregulation: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 59, 40-51.

Bradley, RG & Follingstad, DR. (2003). Group therapy for incarcerated women who experienced interpersonal violence: a pilot study. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 16, 337-340.

DBT for Children

*Listed in reverse chronological order

Perepletchikova, F, Nathanson, D, Axelrod, S, Merrill C, Walker, A, Grossman, M, et al. (2017). Randomized clinical trial of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for pre-adolescent children with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder: feasibility and outcomes. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 56, 832-840.