As explained by Linehan et al. (2006b), the seriousness of borderline personality disorder can be highlighted by the manifestations of emotional dysregulation, such as impulsive and suicidal and non-suicidal self-injurious (NSSI) behaviors. As the mental health field grows, so too does the knowledge base from which practitioners derive therapeutic interventions with hopes of effectively and safely treating patients while maintaining a culture of dignity and respect. One such treatment modality that has proven to reduce NSSI and improve interpersonal functioning, specifically in patients with borderline personality disorder, is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) which is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy developed by Marsha Linehan (Swenson et al., 2001). The focus of this paper is to critically investigate the case made for the treatment of patients with borderline personality disorder through the application of DBT, and more specifically, the overall impact on NSSI.

Many nurses do not feel adequately prepared to treat patients with borderline personality disorder which is often related to a gap in clinical supervision and disease-specific training (Bland et al., 2007). Such discrepancies lead to complications when caring for patients with borderline personality disorder, including negative judgements by staff, anxiety in patients, and feelings of anger in both patients and nurses alike (Bland et al., 2007). By establishing a NSSI workgroup led by change champions trained by DBT experts, the hope is to provide a framework for the acquisition of DBT skills proficiency in all direct-care nurses and provide consistent education on skills usage during patient interactions.

Date of publication

Spring 4-23-2024

Document Type

MSN Capstone Project



Persistent identifier



Masters in Nursing Education