Dialectical behavior therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder related to childhood sexual abuse: a pilot study of an intensive residential treatment program

J Trauma Stress. 2011 Feb;24(1):102-6. doi: 10.1002/jts.20617. Epub 2011 Feb 4.


Dialectical behavior therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (DBT-PTSD) is tailored for adults with PTSD from childhood sexual abuse (CSA). It uses principles from DBT and trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral approaches. To evaluate acceptance and safety, the authors treated 29 women with chronic CSA-related PTSD plus at least one other comorbid diagnosis. The Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS), Symptom Checklist 90-Revised, Beck Depression Inventory, and State Trait Anxiety Inventory were administered prior to, at the end of, and 6 weeks after 3 months of intensive residential treatment. An effect size of 1.22 on the PDS was found between baseline and follow-up. Effect sizes for secondary outcomes ranged from medium to large. The results suggest that DBT-PTSD has promise for reducing severe and chronic PTSD after CSA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / rehabilitation*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Linear Models
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Residential Treatment / methods*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*