Cbt For Borderline Personality Disorder

What To Expect From Cognitive

CBT Counseling Role-Play – Clients with Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

CBT is very focused on the present, meaning that you do very little talking about your past. While you may talk to your therapist about how you came to think or behave the way you do, most of the therapy is focused on how your current ways of thinking/acting are related to your symptoms, and how to change these patterns.

CBT is also fairly directive, meaning that your therapist will often take an active role in your therapy session, giving you direct advice and guidance.

Because cognitive behavioral therapists operate under the assumption that your symptoms are in part related to patterns of thinking and behaving that you have learned over the course of many years, they believe that one or two hours of therapy each week will not produce any major change.

For this reason, most CBT therapists assign homeworkthey want you to work to change the patterns outside of the therapy session. So dont be surprised if you leave your CBT therapy session with handouts to read and homework sheets to complete.

Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Treating Borderline Personality Disorder can be complicated due to the unpredictable nature of the patients emotional state and the varied circumstances that can trigger BPD symptoms.

One of the main treatment methods for people suffering from BPD is Dialectical Behavior Therapy . Another method of therapy that has proven successful for BPD treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy .

The Power Of Our Memories

Every day we absorb information from the outside world through our five senses. As adults, we automatically connect the day to day information coming our way with what is already in our system to make sense of what is going on. For instance, right now you are linking up the words you are reading to your knowledge about English grammar, vocabularies and syntax that were previously stored in your memory network. In other words, your memories are the basis of your current perception, and how you respond to people and events in your life is to a large degree based on your past experiences.

In psychology, the relationship between conscious and unconscious memories is illustrated as an iceberg, with the majority of our memories remaining buried and unconscious. Your current attitudes, emotions, and sensations are not simply reactions to a current event but are also manifestations of physiologically stored information in your memory. Everything that has ever happened to you was recorded in your memory, even if you do not consciously recall them.

According to the adaptive information processing model , our brain has a processing system that is naturally geared towards integration and healing. When uninterrupted, it has the ability to link up useful and restorative memories with the difficult ones, to help us maintain a certain degree of emotional equilibrium.

You May Like: Books On Dissociative Identity Disorder

Cbt Is A General Term

CBT is a catch-all phrase for therapies that share common characteristics. DBT is a type of CBT, along with several other types. Therapists who practice CBT generally practice talk therapy that relies on several guiding features. Those features include:

While DBT is a type of CBT, it is tailored towards helping people acknowledge the pain and discomfort they feel, yet still feel safe and ok in the moment and empowered to choose healthy behaviors instead of impulsive or harmful actions. While some emphasis is put on dealing with thoughts, patients are taught to identify triggers outside of themselves and match those triggers with a healthy coping mechanism or response.

Results Of The Review


Sixteen studies were included in the review: eight RCTs, one non-randomised study and seven uncontrolled studies. The drop-out rate was 27.3% pre- to post-treatment. The mean Downs and Black score was 22 points .

A moderate global effect and a moderate effect size for suicidal and self-injurious behaviours were found when a moderator for RCTs with borderline-specific treatments for pre- to post-intervention differences was included. There was no evidence for the influence of other moderators . A small impairment was shown from post-treatment to follow-up .

Other data were reported in the review and included effect sizes for the combined effects of RCTs and observational studies , effects of moderators, model fit and comparison of drop-out rates.

There was no evidence of significant publication bias.

Don’t Miss: Generalized Anxiety Disorder Hot Flashes

When To Seek Help

If a person thinks that they may have BPD or has received the diagnosis and wants to start treatment, it is a good idea to contact a therapist with experience in this area.

For anyone who is finding it difficult to cope, and especially for people thinking of self-harm or suicide, it is crucial to seek help. Many resources provide support at any hour of the day. Also, some therapists offer phone appointments.

The organization BPD World provide this list of helplines for people in the U.S.

How Is Borderline Personality Disorder Treated

Borderline personality disorder historically has been viewed as challenging to treat. But with newer, evidence-based treatment, many people with this disorder experience fewer and less severe symptoms, improved functioning, and better quality of life. It is important for patients with borderline personality disorder to receive treatment from a licensed mental health professional. Other types of treatment, or treatment from a provider who is not appropriately trained, may be ineffective or dangerous.

Many factors affect the length of time it takes for symptoms to improve once treatment begins. It is important for people with borderline personality disorder and their loved ones to be patient and receive support during treatment.

Don’t Miss: Auditory Processing Disorder Hearing Aid

How Can I Help A Friend Or Family Member With Borderline Personality Disorder

Here are some ways to help a friend or relative with the disorder:

  • Take time to learn about the illness to understand what your friend or relative is experiencing.
  • Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. Change can be difficult and frightening to people with borderline personality disorder, but things can improve over time.
  • Encourage your loved one in treatment for borderline personality disorder to ask about family therapy.
  • Seek counseling for yourself. Choose a different therapist than the one your relative is seeing.

Why Didn’t Therapy Work For My Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Thinking | 10 Borderline Behaviors and the Thoughts that Cause Them

Borderline personality disorder is also known as emotional dysregulation disorder or emotionally unstable personality disorder . Despite being referred to as a personality disorder, it is not a character flaw but is best understood as a limitation in a persons capacity to regulate emotions.

If you can identify with traits of emotional instability, you may find that your feelings are constantly shifting, or you feel that you are on the verge of spiralling out of control. However, sometimes it is more than just a mood shift. You may get the feeling that you can go from being normal one minute to feeling and acting like a completely different person the next. It is as if there are different personalities, or modes inside you. All these modes come with their own mannerism, feelings and personalities. For instance, you can be particularly prone to anger in one mode , and feel sad and completely fragile in another. One moment you are impulsive, the next moment you are numb, detached and shut down. When you are in a destructive mode, the other healthier, more resourceful parts of you seem to vanish and you are not able to bring yourself back to calm.

Don’t Miss: Dsm 5 Substance Use Disorder Powerpoint

Cbt Vs Dbt For Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD has been found to respond well to dialectical behavioral therapy . DBT is emerging as a new frontline approach for treating BPD. This includes both group and individual psychotherapy with a specific approach aimed at helping those with BPD learn how to navigate and handle their feelings. These skills help teach those with BPD how to better relate to others and handle challenges.

DBT is a specific form of cognitive behavioral therapy, Sauer-Zavala says. DBT is long-term usually one year of intensive, weekly individual therapy and skills group sessions are recommended.

DBT skills used to treat BPD include:6,7

  • Mindfulness Meditation Skills: Mindfulness meditation requires individuals to stay grounded in the here and now. It focuses on being very conscious about the present and not focusing on the past or future. Those with BPD tend to have extreme emotions and can feel trapped in those emotions. Mindfulness meditation can help to manage BPD symptoms and find new ways to cope.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills: These skills are aimed at ensuring that needs are met, relationships flourish, and self worth is improved. These skills help those with BPD to draw boundaries that are appropriate for the situations and relationships they may be in.
  • How Much Does Cbt For Bpd Cost

    In some cases, when BPD is diagnosed by a licensed professional, CBT can be covered by health insurance. There is usually a copay for mental health services with most insurance providers, which can range from $40 to upwards of $100. Looking at in-network providers might be able to help with the out-of-pocket costs with copays. In situations where health insurance does not cover CBT, sessions can range from $60-$200 per hour per session. Its important to consider therapists and practices which may offer sliding scale prices for sessions.

    Also Check: Lack Of Empathy Disorder Test

    Introduction To Dialectical Behavior Therapy

    Dialectical behavior therapy is a structured outpatient treatment based on cognitive-behavioral principles developed by Dr Marsha Linehan in the early 1990s for the treatment of parasuicidal behavior in women with borderline personality disorder .1 Linehan defines parasuicidal behavior as any intentional, acute self-injurious behavior with or without suicidal intent, including both suicide attempts and self-mutilative behaviors.2 Borderline personality disorder, as outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition , is a chronic disorder that includes symptoms such as frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, unstable relationships, identity disturbance, impulsive and dangerous behaviors, recurrent suicidal threats or self-mutilating behaviors, affective instability, feelings of emptiness, difficulties controlling anger, and/or stress-related paranoid thoughts or dissociation.3 The lifetime prevalence of BPD is approximately 6%.4 Borderline personality disorder accounts for significantly higher health care costs than both major depressive disorder and other personality disorders.5 These high medical costs can be attributed to a greater number of hospitalizations, more frequent emergency room visits, and greater use of outpatient services.5

    Cbt Vs Dbt: When Is Each Type Of Therapy Most Effective


    When someone is struggling with a behavioral health issue, there are a variety of therapeutic models that can be used to treat it. Each type of therapy approaches the treatment process from a unique perspective, and they have strengths and weaknesses based on the individual being treated.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy are two popular models for treating mental health disorders. You might notice that these models have very similar names, which sheds some light into how theyre related. DBT is a modified form of CBT, but its approach to treatment is distinct enough from CBT that the two models are usually considered unique.

    Both CBT and DBT are supported by research that proves their effectiveness, and they can each be used to treat a variety of mental health issues. However, several important factors may influence which model a therapist uses to treat a client.

    Dr. Aarika V. White is a staff psychologist at Cummins who has experience using both CBT and DBT in therapy. She points out that a persons specific mental health condition as well as their personal factors can determine which model will be most effective in treatment.

    Don’t Miss: Always Thinking About Food Disorder

    Differences Between Cbt And Dbt And How To Tell Which Is Right For You

    Psychotherapy is one of the best treatment methods available for a number of mental illnesses. One of the most common types of therapy is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . Also called talk therapy, CBT focuses on talking about your problems to help you frame your thoughts differently. If you feel like negative thoughts are always in control I am a failure. I cant do anything right. No one will like me if they see who I really am. CBT can help you use logic and reason to flip the script and be in control of your thoughts instead of allowing your thoughts to control you.

    Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing Therapy

    Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy was specifically designed to help people process and heal from trauma. In EMDR, people recall traumatic memories while tracking a visual or auditory signal. The way this particular mechanism works to help people re-process trauma is not clear, but research shows that EMDR is effective in treating trauma-related conditions, especially post-traumatic stress disorder .

    Other therapeutic interventions that have proven to be effective in treating trauma-related conditions are exposure therapy, cognitive processing therapy and trauma-focused CBT techniques like stress inoculation training . People with borderline personality disorder typically have histories of trauma and can benefit from these interventions when they are ready to address it.

    Also Check: Substance Use Disorder Dsm-5

    Pharmacologic Considerations For Treatment Of Bpd

    In general, psychotherapy is the treatment of choice for BPD over psychotropic medications.10 In fact, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence has published guidelines that medication should not be used specifically for BPD or symptoms associated with BPD.11 However, patients with personality disorders are prescribed medications more frequently than any other diagnostic group,12 and the American Psychiatric Association declared pharmacotherapy as having an important adjunctive role in treatment of personality disorders.13

    In a 2012 multicenter study in the United Kingdom, researchers showed that within a sample of 161 patients with BPD, approximately 45% were prescribed second-generation antipsychotics , 40% were prescribed mood stabilizers, and 20% were prescribed clozapine. Polypharmacy was also shown to be common, with approximately 62% of patients on 2 or more medications and approximately 24% on 3 or more medications. In this study, approximately 80% of patients with BPD had past or current comorbid psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder, and/or anxiety. Additionally, approximately 60% of the 14 consultants involved in management of these subjects with BPD disagreed with the NICE guidelines, and none completely agreed with the guidelines.10

    Medications For Treating Borderline Personality Disorder

    Rethinking BPD: A Clinician’s View

    One of the characteristics of a personality disorder is that it develops by early adulthood or by the end of adolescence. The reason why symptoms of personality disorders are typically called traits is that they are established early in life, retained over time, and experienced more as an aspect of the self than a temporary or circumstantial condition. For this reason, using medications to treat borderline personality disorder is relatively rare.

    There are a few other reasons that using medication for borderline personality disorder has not been established as a common practice. One is that people with borderline personality disorder frequently engage in self-harm and make suicide attempts at significantly higher rates than the general population. This makes prescribing medications that could potentially result in a lethal overdose a risky approach. Another reason is that clinicians used to believe that borderline personality disorder was almost impossible to successfully treat and did not believe that pharmacotherapy for the condition was viable.

    While mental health professionals still take the potential for self-harm into consideration when prescribing borderline personality disorder medication, they are more likely to determine that such interventions have the potential to be successful. Recent research has revealed that borderline personality disorder responds to many interventions, including medications.

    Read Also: Professional Treatment For An Eating Disorder Includes

    Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy

    CBGT interventions for AVPD draw upon strategies that have been shown to be effective in treating social phobia and patients with interpersonal problems, including graduated exposure, cognitive restructuring and social skills training . The core of CBGT treatments for AVPD is graduated exposure, in which patients are encouraged to approach situations that are feared or avoided. Group sessions are used to prepare for upcoming exposure exercises, and to review previous exposures, while also providing a real-world opportunity for sustained exposure to a social situation . Another element of CBGT interventions is cognitive restructuring, which in this treatment, is used primarily facilitate willingness to participate in exposure exercises. Finally, some CBGT approaches include an interpersonal skills training component, based on the assumption that individuals with AVPD lack the social skills necessary to interact effectively or appropriately .

    Cbt Vs Dbt For Treating Certain Illnesses

    Not all mental illnesses respond to treatment in the same way. A therapy technique that works well for depression and anxiety can exacerbate eating disorders or personality disorders.CBT has been shown to be incredibly effective when treating depression, and is more likely to make depression go into remission than other types of therapy. This method of therapy has also been proven beneficial in treating anxiety, as it gives patients control over their recovery. CBT has also been shown to help with obsessive compulsive disorder , phobias, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and sleeping issues.DBT was created to help those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. DBT focuses on helping people change their behavior patterns, as opposed to trying to think or talk through the issues they are struggling with. This type of CBT helps those who have developed patterns of intense emotional reactions and impulsive behaviors in response to what patients describe as overwhelming feelings of pain and rejection the feeling of walking through a world filled with knives. DBT often is the most effective therapy for those who struggle with self-harm behaviors like cutting and chronic suicidal ideation. Sexual trauma survivors also respond well to DBT techniques.

    Read Also: Is Schizoaffective Disorder The Same As Schizophrenia

    Is Cbt Effective In Treating Borderline Personality Disorder

    CBT has been shown to be extremely effective at treating BPD. It manages symptoms and is also helpful for children, parents, and relationship partners impacted by an individuals BPD diagnosis.

    CBT is very effective in treating BPD by:8,9,10,11,12

    • Helping couples with a partner who has BPD work through relationship issues by reducing hopelessness and impulse behaviors.
    • Helping individuals reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors by working to unlearn negative thought processes and relearn positive ways of managing difficult emotions.
    • Helping children with BPD symptoms by providing psychoeducation about how thoughts become actions, and helping parents by integrating their support in sessions to improve overall family functioning and cohesion.
    • Helping those with BPD who are severely struggling with overall functioning. CBT for this population of individuals with BPD showed improvement in psychosocial functioning.
    • Helping those dealing with eating disorders with a diagnosis of BPD. Those with an eating disorder and BPD showed lower dysfunctional behavior around emotions, lower feelings of depression and lower dysfunctional eating behaviors.

    Similar Articles

    Most Popular