Improvement of Mindfulness Skills After Attending Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Group

DBT Mindfulness

A recent study examined 35 adults diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), attending a 20-week dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills group. The researchers were interested in improvements in mindfulness skills. They measured improvements in:

  • observing: noticing one’s surroundings and inner experiences

  • describing: labeling one’s sensations, observations, thoughts and feelings

  • acting with awareness: acting with attention

  • nonjudging of inner experience: experiencing thoughts and feelings without judgement

  • nonreactivity to inner experience: experiencing thoughts and feelings without emotionally reacting to them

They discovered increases in some facets of mindfulness. They discovered a relationship between acting with awareness and nonjudging of inner experience and reductions in BPD and depression symptoms.

In DBT skills classes, about every two months participants spend two weeks focusing just on mindfulness skills. Could it be beneficial to focus on acting with awareness and nonjudging of inner experience during those two weeks? Perhaps, if more research shows those factors contribute more to symptom improvement.