Dialectical behaviour therapy skills training for substance use disorders and dual diagnosis

Thumbnail Image
Warner, Niamh
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University College Cork
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Background: People with Dual Diagnosis (DD) present with different intervention needs and respond differently to clients with a single diagnosis. Quantitative research suggests that Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Training (DBT-ST) can produce positive outcomes for people with DD. However, little is understood regarding the mechanisms which produce this change. Aim: This study aimed to explore the experience of people with DD who participated in an adapted DBT-ST intervention in the context of an Irish addiction service. The study focused on identifying aspects of DBT-ST which were perceived as producing or impeding change. Procedure: Four participants who completed a 24-week, adapted DBT-ST intervention for DD were recruited via purposive sampling. Data were gathered using semi-structured interviews. Anonymised transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Five superordinate themes and 11 subthemes were identified on analysing the entire data set. Conclusions: Findings bring us closer to understanding the perceived intervention needs of people with DD in Ireland. Participants viewed DBT-ST as supporting relapse prevention by enhancing capacity to manage emotions and problem solve in high risk situations. Findings suggest that a non-judgmental environment, enhanced assertiveness skills and rediscovering meaningful activities also promoted change. Findings have implication for service provision for this cohort.
DBT skills training , Co-morbid substance use disorder , Dialectical behaviour therapy , Dual diagnosis , Qualitative
Warner, N. 2020. Dialectical behaviour therapy skills training for substance use disorders and dual diagnosis. DClinPsych Thesis, University College Cork.