Comments

APA Citation: Rosenfeld, B., Galietta, M., Ivanoff, A., Garcia-Mansilla, A., Martinez, R., Fava, J., Fineran, V., & Green, D. (2007). Dialectical behavior therapy for the treatment of stalking offenders. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 6,(2), 95-103.

Disciplines

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

The need for effective mental health interventions for specific offender populations has become clear in recent decades. In particular, individuals who engage in stalking and harassment have increasingly attracted the attention of the public and mental health and criminal justice professionals, however no evidence-based treatment currently exists for this population. We adapted Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for the treatment of this offender group, in part because of the high prevalence of personality disorders. This study describes the application of a 6-month treatment program to a sample of 29 individuals, 14 of whom completed treatment. Treated offenders were significantly less likely to re-offend with another stalking offense (0 of 14) compared to treatment drop-outs (26.7%) or to published recidivism data (47%). Measures intended to help determine the nature of changes revealed increased thought suppression, but are qualified by the high degree of defensive responding. These preliminary data suggest that DBT holds promise for reducing stalking behaviors and warrants further study.