The following post is the Afterword of the newly released “Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder” by Valerie Porr. I have reprinted it here with permission of Oxford University Press. There are so many misconceptions about this disorder today. A friend of mine, recently diagnosed with BPD, has helped me to understand her illness. I hope this piece further educates people who attach stigma where there should be none.
Research shows us that 70 percent of people with Borderline Personality Disorder drop out of treatment. According to John Gunderson, medical director of the Center for the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder at McLean Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts, failure to involve the family as support for treatment of BPD makes patients’ involvement in therapy superficial and is a major reason for premature dropout. Family members or partners consult clinicians for help in coping with someone with BPD because they care, and are frightened, frustrated, and feeling helpless. This is someone they love. As a clinician you have an opportunity to guide these families toward reconciliation and repair. Family members spend more time with the person with BPD than anyone else and are in a key position to provide ongoing help and guidance, prevent escalations, and motivate their loved one to participate in evidence-based treatment.
Here is a compilation of what families need from clinicians based on hundreds of TARA helpline calls, reports from family skills group participants, and from the work of John Gunderson….