DBT was the first psychotherapy shown to be effective in treating BPD and maladaptive under control presentations in controlled clinical trials — the most rigorous type of clinical research. While DBT is no longer the only therapy to have shown effectiveness in controlled trials, it has grown a large evidence base and is considered one of the best treatments for BPD in terms of documented success rates.


International research on DBT can be found at:


Research in Australian on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is limited. The Australian DBT Institute is actively contributing to reducing this gap in research through our training and development programs as well as supporting the initiatives listed below.


Australian DBT Institute’s collaborative projects

Current Research Collaborations

Phone Coaching Project – We are currently seeking funding for this research project that seeks to identify the effectiveness of phone coaching in DBT when provided outside a DBT program. Participants will have access to a national Australian DBT Institute phone coaching service. Phone coaching supports individuals, participating in DBT groups throughout Australia, use DBT skills in times of crisis. Project Contact: Dr. Peter King via peter@dbtinstitute.com.au or call 07 5647 3438


Stabilisation Based Therapy Project – This research explores the effectiveness of a stabilisation based therapy approach for individuals with a trauma history. This program includes access to DBT Assist to support individuals gain a level of stabilisation before safely navigating trauma memories. This research project commences in January 2021 with the Gold Coast DBT Clinic accepting referrals for individual clients seeking stabilisation work before commencing trauma memory work from our Gold Coast Clinic and/or Telehealth. Project Contact: Dr. Peter King via peter@dbtinstitute.com.au or call 07 5647 3438


Australian DBT Institute’s collaborative projects (completed)


2021-2023 – Telehealth Project: Australian DBT Institute, Gold Coast QLD Currently offered through our online portal (DBT Assist), the Australian DBT Institute and Southern Cross University Collaborated in researching the effectiveness of delivering DBT groups online with participants completing self-reporting inventory including DAS, DERS, K-10.


Publications from project

  • – Lakeman, R., Hurley, J., Campbell, K., Hererra, C., Leggett, A., Tranter, R. and King, P. (2022), High fidelity dialectical behaviour therapy online: Learning from experienced practitioners. Int J Mental Health Nurs. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.13039
  • – Lakeman, R., King, P., Hurley, J., Tranter, R., Leggett, A., Campbell, K. and Herrera, C. (2022), Towards online delivery of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: A scoping review. Int J Mental Health Nurs, 31: 843-856. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12976


2016-2020 – Trauma Informed DBT (DBT-TI): Australian DBT Institute, Melbourne VIC

Institute’s Input: Research Assistant, DBT Skills Group run from our Melbourne Clinic, Researchers are Institute Staff, Mentoring of Fellows & Associates delivering the DBT program.


The DBT-TI Project is a participatory action research project exploring the effectiveness of a trauma informed approach to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT-TI). DBT-TI was developed by Dr. Peter King from the findings of his PhD research, client feedback and is informed by 20 years experience in DBT program development and facilitation. DBT-TI utilises many of the skills and structures of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT-TI) while integrating Somatic Trauma Therapy, Stabilisation Based Therapy and Psychoeducational approaches that highlight the importance of an individuals’ stabilisation before engaging in therapeutic processing work.



2017-2019 Gold Coast headspace: Gold Coast, QLD

Institute’s Input: 6 Day DBT Comprehensive Training in 2017-2019 (20 staff members attended) and current DBT Coordinator, Carlie Robertson, was Academic Lead.


Overview of Research: https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=375323


Project ReportDBT PHN Report 2019 07 12 (FINAL)


Project Outcomes:

    • – Participants in the 16-week program reported significantly reduced suicidality risk from baseline to 8-week and 16-week follow-ups where as the 8-week program did not
    • – Participants in the 16-week program reported significantly greater quality of life than participants in the 8-week program, at 16-week follow-up.
    • – attendance rate of the total sample was high (80.6%).
    • – Increased emphasis on commitment may have improved attendance rates, across both groups, based on higher overall attendance in Waves 2 (60%) and 3 (55%), compared to Wave 1 (43%).


2010-2015 Doctoral Research Project: RMIT University, VIC

Institute’s Input: Research access to training materials, evaluations and staff. PhD Candidate, Peter King (Australian DBT Institute’s Clinical & Academic Lead)


Research Questions: What are the most effective interventions for working with people with borderline personality disorder? What is the most effective type of service to provide support for people with borderline personality disorder?


2005-2010 Jerrboongun Unity Foundation, VIC

Institute’s Input: 10 DBT Day Intensive Training in 2008 (5 staff members attended), ongoing program mentoring, facilitation and development

Publications: Jerrboongun Indigenous Homeless Program, 2010


2005 Logan Adult Mental Health Service, QLD

Institute’s Input: 10 Day DBT Intensive Training in 2005 (4 staff members attended) in partnership with Behavioral Tech LLC


Publications: Prendergast-and-McCausland-2007


Project Outcomes:

    • – 45% of participants had a significant reduction in the severity of self harming incidents, in that all attempts during the group met the criteria of ‘no danger’ at all.
    • – The number and length of hospital stays decreased over both groups, saving the local hospital system $49 520.
    • – There was a significant reduction in the duration of face to face contact by a total of 76 hours.
    • – GAF results indicate significantly improved overall psychological, social and occupational functioning of participants’ following DBT.
    • – 54% of participants, who had “severe” depression prior to the group, completed the group within the range of “moderate” to “minimal” depression.
    • – Of participants that have completed the DBT program only 3 clients remain in the mental health service