Applications of dialectical behavior therapy to the treatment of complex trauma-related problems: when one case formulation does not fit all

J Trauma Stress. 2007 Aug;20(4):391-400. doi: 10.1002/jts.20268.


In this article, the authors take the perspective that effective treatment of complex trauma-related problems requires, in the absence of empirically supported treatments, a reliance on theory, idiographic assessment, and empirically supported principles of change. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT; M. M. Linehan, 1993) is used to demonstrate the applicability of this approach to the treatment of multiproblem, heterogeneous populations in general. Two case studies are presented that highlight the utility of DBT principles to complex trauma-related problems specifically.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / therapy
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Desensitization, Psychologic / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Personality Assessment
  • Rape / psychology
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / diagnosis
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / psychology
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / therapy
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Veterans / psychology