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Borderline Personality Disorder

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Borderline Personality Disorder
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University of Sarasota
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20 $ (USD)
borderline personality disorder, BPD, DBT, dialectical behavioral therapy, CBT, cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotional dysregulation, boundaries, therapeutic alliance, structured treatment
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Paper Abstract

Borderline Personality Disorder

August 7, 2000


            Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by a volatility of mood, intense anger, at times, with impulsive gestures of self-destruction or intent to harm others without forethought of consequences (Kroll, 1988).  Maintaining appropriate interpersonal boundaries is achieved at a minimum.  Relationships are often intense and viewed as all good or all bad depending on the borderline’s momentary perception.  The inability to sustain long-term or healthy relationships provides the borderline personality with ever prominent and central issues of abandonment that, in a therapeutic setting, are played out persistently (Korn, 2000; Pheil, 2000).  A diagnosis of borderline personality disorder brings with it a true sense of misery for the individual diagnosed.  Emotions are perpetually in upheaval, coping mechanisms are generally self-destructive and/or ineffective.  There exists a pervasive sense of emptiness as one relationship is discarded for another and the pattern of self-sabotage begins once again.  Needless to say, such an individual must be fundamentally unhappy most of the time.  What causes such maladaptive personality characteristics?  Is it possible to facilitate effective personal growth in such an individual?  If so, what theoretical orientations have been most successful in alleviating the borderline’s attraction to internal and external chaos?

            In the following pages, I will attempt to review a few of the more effective treatment strategies utilized in facilitating positive change in the borderline patient.  Among those therapies reviewed will be a cognitive-behavioral approach called dialectical-behavioral therapy, an eclectic version of psychodynamic psychotherapy, and pharmacotherapy.  In conclusion, I will offer my own perspective on which therapy or combination of therapies would best serve the needs and address the dynamics of the borderline personality.

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