Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment: Ending Self-Harmful Behaviors through DBT

DBT self-soothingThe DSM-IV lists self-harm as one of the nine criteria for a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Seventy to 75 percent of people with BPD engage in self-harmful behaviors that can range from skin cutting and abrading to punching and even burning themselves to relieve states of extreme emotional dysregulation or dissociation.

About 40 percent of those who engage in self-harming behaviors also harbor thoughts of suicide. However, most people who engage in self-harmful behaviors are not attempting to commit suicide, but rather are trying to find temporary relief from other distressing symptoms of BPD.

It may be surprising to some reading this that self-harming behaviors are actually soothing and result in positive feelings for a person with Borderline Personality Disorder. This may be why self-harmful behaviors are more likely to be recurring and chronic as opposed to suicide attempts, which are far less frequent in those with BPD.


Are you or a loved one struggling with emotions that feel out of control? Have you been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)? No matter what type of treatment you need, Clearview Women’s Center can help. With residential, day, and outpatient programs, Clearview is proud to be one of the only treatment centers committed to helping women suffering from the symptoms of BPD, emotional dysregulation, and other acute psychiatric disorders.

Clearview’s experienced intake counselors will help determine which treatment options is best for you. A team of experts will put together an individualized treatment plan focused on your specific needs. Call (866) 756-8819 now or complete the form below to get started on your path to recovery.


Obviously, these statistics indicate a serious need for effective therapeutic treatment for self-harmful behaviors and suicidality in patients with BPD.

How DBT Works to End Self-Harmful Behaviors

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) provides people with Borderline Personality Disorder the skills needed to help them better regulate their emotions so they no longer feel compelled to engage in self-harmful behaviors.

One of the skills taught in DBT is how to self-soothe. Follow the link for tips on how to use DBT to help you to self-soothe instead of self-harm.

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