Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Counselor Education

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia Goodspeed


Dialectical Behavior Therapy is one of the most highly researched evidence-based practices for the treatment of personality disorders as well as functional deficits in emotional regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal skills (Brazier et al., 2006). These symptoms untreated often lead to the utilization of crisis management mental health treatment including inpatient hospitalizations and emergency department visits (Lieb et al., 2004). This research study examined whether DBT is an effective treatment modality to reduce high cost emergency service usage. This research study is a secondary analysis of data that has been collected by a community mental health organization. Aggregate data was analyzed using a t-test to determine if there is a statistically significant difference in the amount of emergency services participants used in the six months prior to beginning DBT and the six months after completion of DBT. Completion of the DBT program was found to be effective in reducing the number of days of inpatient stay as well as emergency department visits.