May 2, 2016

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When Looking for Treatment

The agency/institution/hospital:

Questions to ask:

License to operate:

a. By whom?

b. For what?

c. Date of most recent licensing?

How many years has the agency been actively treating persons wit BPD?

What is the treatment that they use?  Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?  Mentalization (MBT)? Transference Focused Therapy (TFP)?

How was the staff trained?   By who?

Maximum number of clients in program(s)?

Number of staff and their disciplines and level of education?

Client/staff ratio?

 Facilities and services:

What are the criteria for admission to the program? Who provides the referral information?

What kind(s) of treatment(s) are available: individual therapy, group, family, residential, medication?

How often is each type of therapy offered per week?

Treatment orientation? e.g. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); Psychodynamic?

What kind of training has the staff had to specifically treat persons with BPD?

Anticipated length of stay?

Handbook of rules: program expectations, i.e., days absent, if outpatient; visiting hours, if inpatient.

What kind of family involvement: sessions, family group, contact with staff?

Are there any support groups in the area?

Is there any contact maintained with most previous treater (e.g., community psychiatrist)?

When does planning for discharge start and who is included in the discussions?

Does the agency take responsibility to identify the possible aftercare options?

If someone signs themselves out of the program, who is notified?

Financial aspects:

Cost: Flat charges? Extra charges? How often billed? Terms of payment?

What funding is accepted: Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, self-pay?

Is an agency financial counselor available to explain charges and billing procedures? For example, is SSI affected?


Use these links to access other mental health websites that may be of assistance to you.

Behavioral Technology-Dialectical Behavior Therapy Behavioral Tech, LLC, founded by Dr. Marsha Linehan, trains mental health care providers and treatment teams who work with complex and severely disordered populations to use compassionate, scientifically valid treatments and to implement and evaluate these treatments in their practice setting.  

National Alliance on Mental Illness Founded in 1979, NAMI has become the nation’s voice on mental illness. As the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, it is dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and as well as their families, through advocacy, research, support, and education. 

National Institute of Mental Health The National Institute of Mental Health is the lead Federal agency for research on mental and behavioral disorders, and is one of 27 components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIMH is actively involved in strategic planning and priority-setting for the Institute as whole as well as for specific research areas.


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