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Overcoming Barriers to Skills Training in Borderline Personality Disorder: A Qualitative Interview Study

Barnicot, K. ORCID: 0000-0001-5083-5135, Couldrey, L., Sandhu, S. and Priebe, S. (2015). Overcoming Barriers to Skills Training in Borderline Personality Disorder: A Qualitative Interview Study. PLOS ONE, 10(10), e0140635. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140635

Abstract

Despite evidence suggesting that skills training is an important mechanism of change in dialectical behaviour therapy, little research exploring facilitators and barriers to this process has been conducted. The study aimed to explore clients’ experiences of barriers to dialectical behaviour therapy skills training and how they felt they overcame these barriers, and to compare experiences between treatment completers and dropouts. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 40 clients with borderline personality disorder who had attended a dialectical behaviour therapy programme. A thematic analysis of participants’ reported experiences found that key barriers to learning the skills were anxiety during the skills groups and difficulty understanding the material. Key barriers to using the skills were overwhelming emotions which left participants feeling unable or unwilling to use them. Key ways in which participants reported overcoming barriers to skills training were by sustaining their commitment to attending therapy and practising the skills, personalising the way they used them, and practising them so often that they became an integral part of their behavioural repertoire. Participants also highlighted a number of key ways in which they were supported with their skills training by other skills group members, the group therapists, their individual therapist, friends and family. Treatment dropouts were more likely than completers to describe anxiety during the skills groups as a barrier to learning, and were less likely to report overcoming barriers to skills training via the key processes outlined above. The findings of this qualitative study require replication, but could be used to generate hypotheses for testing in further research on barriers to skills training, how these relate to dropout, and how they can be overcome. The paper outlines several such suggestions for further research.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015 Barnicot et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2020 10:37
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/24562
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