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Oregon State Hospital earns certification for its DBT program

Monday, December 03, 2018

​Oregon State Hospital (OSH) has earned national certification for its Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program on Bird 2, a unit in the Pathways Program for people who are under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board. OSH is the first inpatient program to receive such an honor from the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification.

Brian Chapman, a behavioral health specialist and team lead for the hospital’s DBT program, said he’s incredibly proud of all the work people have done over the past five years to achieve program certification.

“From the patients who participated in the program, to administration who supported implementation and the clinicians who provided the treatment, so many people across disciplines worked to make sure we are providing the treatment effectively,” he said. “It’s really inspiring.”

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based therapy that teaches people new ways of regulating emotions and tolerating distress. Originally developed to treat people with borderline personality disorder and suicidal behaviors, it has since expanded to treat substance-use disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders.

“For some patients, suicidal behavior and non-suicidal self-injury are the main barriers preventing them from living in the community,” Chapman said. “DBT is the ‘gold standard’ for helping people with these challenges.”

The ‘D’ in DBT stands for dialectical, which means finding a middle ground between two opposing sides. DBT teaches patients how to strike a balance between accepting their struggles and actively working to change their situations for the better. They do this through learning skills in mindfulness, communication, emotional regulation and distress tolerance.

“DBT asks patients to decrease harmful behaviors and replace them with life-enhancing behaviors – so they can build a life they experience as worth living,” Chapman said. “Research shows the more people practice the skills, the more they benefit from treatment. Ultimately, the most important outcomes are building lives people experience as fulfilling.”

For more information on DBT, go to Behavioral Tech, a Linehan Institute training company.


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