Is Psychotherapy Effective for Borderline Adolescents?


Jean Marc Guilé, Brian Greenfield, Jean Jacques Breton, David Cohen, Réal Labelle.


Object: To examine recent advances in psychotherapeutic treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder during adolescence. Method: Controlled trials of cognitive-behavioural (CBT) and psychodynamic psychotherapies (PP) were sought on Medline, PsycInfo and Cochrane databases. Results: Included in this analysis were five studies conducted with adolescents. CBT or Dialectic behavioural therapy (DBT) were used in all five trials. One study found a significant positive impact of a short-term outpatient DBT in ameliorating borderline psychopathology. No significant between-groups differences were found with respect to psychiatric symptoms, suicidal re-attempts, inpatient re-admission or treatment attendance. Conclusions: More studies are needed to gain a clearer understanding of the specific effect of CBT including DBT and psychodynamic psychotherapies on self-harm behaviour and borderline psychopathology in adolescence.

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