Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Borderline Personality Disorder
People with borderline personality disorder can be challenging to treat, because of the nature of the disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be defined as a mental health condition in which a person has long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions (US National Library of Medicine, 2013). They are often difficult to keep in therapy, frequently fail to respond to therapeutic efforts and make considerable demands on the emotional resources of the therapist, particular when suicidal behaviors are prominent.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an innovative method of treatment that has been developed specifically to treat this difficult group of patients in a way which is optimistic and which preserves the integrity of the therapist. The technique was devised by Marsha Linehan, a psychology researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle and its effectiveness has been demonstrated in a wealth of research in the past decade (Wikipedia, 2013).
The success of treatment is dependent on the quality of the relationship between the patient and therapist. The emphasis is on this being a real human relationship in which both members matter and in which the needs of both have to be considered. The therapist must avoid at all times viewing the patient, or talking about her, in terms that could be considered antagonistic so that they can proceed to a successful therapeutic intervention and being mindful to not feed into the problems that have led to the development of BPD in the first place. The approach is a team approach (Linehan, 2001).
Linehan has a particular dislike for the word “manipulative” as commonly applied to these patients. She points out that this implies that they are skilled at managing other people when it is precisely the opposite that is true. Also the fact that the therapist may feel manipulated does not necessarily imply that this was the intention of the patient....