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08.10.2019 | Original Paper

Effects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy on Executive Functions, Emotion Regulation, and Mindfulness in Bipolar Disorder

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
Autoren:
Behrooz Afshari, Abdollah Omidi, Afshin Ahmadvand
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a debilitating psychiatric disorder characterized by recurrent depression, manic, and hypomanic episodes. Patients with BD are also likely to experience difficulties with executive functions and emotion regulation. The literature review states that little research has been done on dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for BD, and there has not been an examination of this therapy on BD patients’ executive functions and emotion regulation. The present study addresses this absence of research with a pilot study on 60 BD patients. Participants in the intervention group received twelve 90-min sessions adapted from a standard DBT protocol for BD and the control group was on a wait-list for treatment. Participants completed measures of mental wellbeing and executive functioning at baseline, immediately after the intervention, and 3 months later as a follow-up. Results showed that the intervention group improved over time, having lower scores in mania, depression, and emotion disregulation than the control group post-treatment. Further, the intervention group had higher scores in mindfulness, planning, problem-solving, and cognitive flexibility than the control group. The findings highlight that DBT, alongside prescription medication, can be an effective therapy for BD as well as leading to reduced manic and depression symptoms and improved executive functions, emotion regulation, and mindfulness.

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