Modified Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program Applied Within a Time-limited Corrections Setting

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

John McNeill

Second Advisor

Lavita Nadkarni

Third Advisor

Brad McMillan


Dialectical behavioral therapy, Assessment, Treatment manual, DBT, Skills training, Inmates, Incarcerated populations, Mental health, Program development, Corrections setting


Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an empirically supported therapy developed to treat individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder that has sustained efficacy following completion of the treatment (Linehan, 1993; Van Den Bosch et al., 2005). The core concepts of DBT include mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance, which seek to foster more functional ways of interacting with others, coping with distress, and managing difficult emotions. Using a standard DBT format in a corrections setting can be difficult due to the population's multifaceted composition. The Denver County Jail is a unique corrections setting because it contains a unit specifically developed for male inmates with mental health issues. A corrections modified, time-limited DBT curriculum was developed to fit the needs of this unique population. During the course of the group, staff appeared to be accepting of the group material and initial feedback from inmates and officers was positive.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


31 pages

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