Mechanisms of change in an emotion regulation group therapy for deliberate self-harm among women with borderline personality disorder

Kim L. Gratz, Joseph R. Bardeen, Roy Levy, Katherine L. Dixon-Gordon, Matthew T. Tull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite growing evidence for the efficacy of Gratz and colleagues' emotion regulation group therapy (ERGT) for deliberate self-harm (DSH) among women with borderline personality disorder (BPD), the proposed mechanism of change in this treatment (i.e., emotion regulation) remains largely unexamined. This study examined change in emotion dysregulation as a mediator of the effects of this ERGT on DSH and BPD symptoms, as well as the extent to which change in emotion dysregulation during treatment predicts further improvements in DSH during a 9-month follow-up. Participants included 61 female outpatients with BPD and recent DSH who were randomly assigned to receive this ERGT in addition to their ongoing outpatient therapy immediately (n=31) or after 14 weeks (n=30). Measures of emotion dysregulation, DSH, and BPD symptoms were administered pre- and post-treatment or -waitlist, and at 9-months post-treatment (for participants in both conditions who received ERGT). Results from a series of mediation analyses provide further support for emotion regulation as a mechanism of change in this treatment. Specifically, results revealed that improvements in emotion dysregulation over the course of treatment mediated the observed reductions in BPD cognitive and affective symptoms during treatment and predicted further improvements in DSH during follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Volume65
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Keywords

  • Borderline personality
  • Emotion regulation
  • Group therapy
  • Mechanisms of change
  • Self-injury
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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