DBT-PTSD, developed by Martin Bohus, MD, is designed to treat adults with PTSD following interpersonal violence such as childhood sexual abuse, including patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Individuals struggle with problems in emotion regulation, negative self-concept, dysfunctional memory processing, and maladaptive social interaction. To target these core domains DBT-PTSD merges multiple evidence-based elements: DBT principles, trauma-specific cognitive and exposure-based techniques, compassion-focused interventions, and behavior change procedures. The treatment program is designed to be delivered in a residential program (three-months) or in an outpatient setting (45 weeks). There is no group component to treatment.
DBT-PTSD primarily aims to help patients a) revise their fear of trauma-associated primary emotions, b) question whether secondary emotions like guilt and shame fit the facts, and c) radically accept the fact of trauma in their lives in order to establish a life worth living.