How PCH Treats Borderline Personality Disorder
At PCH, we spend a lot of time talking about the dangers of stigmatizing mental well-being by labeling certain “disorders.” When we believe that labels can be beneficial on the road to recovery, as with bipolar disorder, we’re committed to ensuring they’re applied and used correctly. However, when it comes to borderline personality disorder, we try to avoid using the diagnostic label altogether.
First, we avoid labeling individuals as “borderline.” Instead, we prefer to discuss borderline states as a manifestation of complex psychological trauma. When we talk about borderline personality disorder treatment, what we’re really talking about is psychological trauma treatment and healing individual relationships. From our perspective, you don’t have “borderline personality disorder” so much as you experience borderline states, even if you experience them often. Since we all experience borderline states at one time or another, treatment is more focused on achieving balance than eliminating them. A borderline state is when a person hasn’t broken with reality but can experience difficulty with reality testing under stress.
Borderline states are fundamentally relational. They cannot happen outside of the context of a relationship, so we always start by first identifying the underlying trauma and human relationships driving them. These are the strategies our specialists employ to help.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) offers an excellent starting point for understanding and treating borderline states. DBT helps you better identify the thoughts, feelings, and patterns underlying borderline states and how your thinking causes emotional problems.
While understanding how your mind functions may be the best place to start, when it comes to treating borderline states, DBT can only get you so far. That’s because borderline states are relational in nature, and DBT primarily focuses on the individual. Relational psychodynamic psychotherapy then becomes necessary to account for the problems in managing relationships that trigger and drive borderline states.
Relational Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
DBT helps you to develop strategies for achieving mental regulation, but it doesn’t examine the complex psychological trauma that we found is often at the root of borderline states. In our experience, borderline states are a manifestation of some trauma combined with highly sensitive individual temperament, and DBT doesn’t offer the versatility to delve into traumatic memories.
Relational psychodynamic psychotherapy, on the other hand, helps you understand borderline states by looking to understand early experience as it relates to current relationships. We examine deeper relational issues and how those relationships affect your feelings and thought patterns. Together with DBT, relational psychodynamic psychotherapy provides a balanced approach to understanding and mitigating borderline states by addressing underlying trauma.
Trauma Group and Family Therapy
When treating an individual struggling with borderline states, it’s almost inevitable that we’re going to discover some complex psychological trauma at the root of intense emotional states. And since borderline states are relational, you can’t heal without repairing fundamentally broken human relationships. Trauma groups and family therapy sessions work to achieve that goal not only by helping you come to terms with past trauma but also by helping your loved ones understand coping skills, so they can provide support on the road to recovery.
Schedule a Complimentary Consultation
If you or a loved one are ready to take the next step to balanced emotional regulation and healthier relationships, schedule a complimentary consultation with the specialists at PCH today. We’re here to listen whenever you’re ready to talk.