“Helping people with BPD to build 'a life worth living' in South Australia...”

Amanda Burlock and Margaret Hartstone have been providing Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) to clients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) for more than 10 years. 

Their work initially started in the South Australian Public Mental Health Service, and they have been providing all DBT modes of treatment in their private practice since 2012.

More information about BPD and DBT...

What is DBT?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a proven treatment for people with the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  The primary goal of DBT is “to build a life worth living”.  Treatment usually involves attending both individual and group-based therapy.  

Download an information sheet about DBT at the bottom of the page.  

What is BPD?

 The primary problem experienced by people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is “emotion dysregulation” (emotions that are intense, changeable, and slower than average to resolve).   Emotion dysregulation tends to contribute to other difficulties including intense interpersonal relationships and confusion about self; for some it may also prompt impulsive and/or self-damaging behaviours.  

Download an information sheet about BPD at the bottom of the page. 

Does DBT work?

Effective treatment and support is available for people with BPD!  Best practice treatment involves psychological therapy approaches which have a clear focus and structure, have research evidence demonstrating their effectiveness, and are delivered by appropriately trained professionals in a supportive environment. 

DBT is specifically designed to teach better skills to manage the core symptoms and difficulties experienced by people with emotional sensitivity and reactivity  Research studies have demonstrated that DBT is effective in speeding recovery from BPD symptoms and improving quality of life for people with BPD.

Does DBT SA get results?

We conduct routine evaluation of outcomes in therapy for our clients receiving comprehensive DBT.  The data we collect demonstrates many benefits of the treatment we provide.  This includes:

  • Reduced levels of general distress and reduced depression symptoms in over 80% of cases;
  • Reduced levels of anxiety and stress-related symptoms in over 70% of cases;
  • Reduced overall symptoms of BPD in over 80% cases (with an average reduction in symptom severity of 56%);
  • Improved skills in regulating emotion in over 80% of cases.  This includes increased awareness of effective emotion regulation strategies, ability to accept difficult emotions, ability to distinguish between emotions, reduced impulsiveness, awareness of emotions and ability to focus on goals.

Please contact us is you would like further information regarding our data and assessment methods used in our routine evaluation.   

What should I look for in a DBT therapist?

Margaret and Amanda each have more than 10 years of experience as DBT therapists.  They have both undertaken DBT "Intensive" training by Behavioral Tech LLC (the world's leading provider of DBT training) in addition to numerous other professional development workshops regarding DBT and the treatment of BPD.  Margaret and Amanda also have extensive training and experience in a range of other effective psychological therapy approaches.  Download an information sheet about choosing a DBT therapist at the bottom of the page

Where is DBT available in South Australia?

Margaret and Amanda are available to provide DBT individual therapy in their private rooms at Norwood.  Amanda and Margaret also offer DBT group skills training to selected clients.  

Our DBT Skills Training Group is currently in progress.  Please phone or email Amanda or Margaret for details regarding the next available opportunity to commence group.  

DBT skills group programs are also available in most areas of Adelaide through Community Mental Health Services (which form part of public health services in SA).  Many of the programs in Community Mental Health Services require people attending the group to also be undertaking individual therapy in the private sector (eg. seeing a private Psychologist or counsellor).  For information regarding DBT in the public Mental Health Service (including availability of group/individual therapy, eligibility criteria and referral processes) we recommend that you contact your local Community Mental Health Service and ask for information from the Clinical Coordinator, Duty Worker, or DBT Coordinator.  Some DBT group programs targeting specialist areas (eg. eating disorder, perinatal mental health) also exist in the public health system.

A private DBT group program is also available to patients of selected privately practising Psychiatrists at Kahlyn hospital and in one other private Psychology practice in the Adelaide metropolitan area.

Some information about useful resources is available to download at the bottom of the page.  Additional information about services for people with BPD is available from www.bpdsa.com.au  


We care about carers and families!

Caring for someone with a complex mental health condition such as BPD can be difficult.  The  information sheet about useful resources (available at the bottom of the page) has details of useful books, websites and services to help you in your important role.  

The "Family Connections" program is available in South Australia and has been developed specifically with your needs in mind.  It is a great source of support as well as practical advice and suggestions.  For more details see  www.bpdaustralia.com/family-connection-programmes

If you are interested in receiving some individual, personalized support then please contact us to discuss your options.