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Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

The following treatment guidelines are meant as a reference tool only, and are not intended as treatment advice or to replace the clinical decision-making process of psychiatrists or other health professionals who administer these treatments. In clinical practice there are often good reasons why treatment approaches differ from what is described here.


There are various different forms of psychotherapy that have been found to be effective for treating Borderline Personality Disorder. All of them share the feature of being intensive forms of therapy, usually given several times a week over the course of a few years, and delivered by treating teams that provide both individual and group therapy components. These are all very specialized forms of therapy that require specific training on the part of the therapists, and which tend to be available mainly in large treatment centers. Deciding which one of these therapies to use would be based primarily on which ones are available in the patient's community.

Transference-Focused Therapy [ref] and Mentalization-Based Therapy [ref] are derived from psychodynamic psychotherapy, and have been shown to be effective methods. From the cognitive-behavioral school of therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy [ref] and Schema-Focused Therapy [ref] have also had favorable outcomes in studies.


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Overview of Treatment