People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) seem to benefit the most from a combination of medication and therapy, so finding the right BPD therapist is vital to the treatment process.
Therapy for your Borderline Personality Disorder can be provided through outpatient BPD treatment or residential BPD treatment. Your BPD therapist will help you learn to understand the motives behind your behaviors and learn to experience difficult emotions while restraining the urge to react to them impulsively.
When you enter treatment for BPD, you will typically meet with your therapist one to three times per week over a period of years. Because the most effective therapy will likely be long-term, it’s important for your therapist to recognize that therapy won’t be a quick-fix solution. Your Borderline Personality Disorder therapist should be completely committed to working with you and your family over a long period of time.
It’s crucial that your therapist is skilled in treating BPD and trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which is the most successful type of therapy for treating BPD. Otherwise, your therapist may do more harm than good.
BPD Treatment Options
There are several treatment options a therapist may use when treating your Borderline Personality Disorder:
- Psychotherapy is typically used for more mild cases of BPD. This form of treatment involves exploring your childhood and working to resolve interpersonal issues.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a skill-building treatment approach that emphasizes the development of mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. DBT was specifically developed to treat BPD.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy attempts to address self-harming behaviors that are common among people with BPD, such as self-injury or suicide attempts. CBT also works to reduce other problematic behaviors, such as uncontrolled rage.
- Supportive counseling involves your therapist working with you to resolve more current issues rather than those stemming from childhood. Counseling is often used with patients who have more severe cases of BPD.
After you are more stable, your therapist may also use therapies such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Somatic Experiencing to address any trauma and to provide more comprehensive BPD treatment.
Finding a BPD Therapist
When you’re looking for a therapist to treat yourself or someone you love with Borderline Personality Disorder, it’s important to find someone who is both knowledgeable about BPD treatment and a good fit.
Here are some important questions you might want to ask:
- How long have they been treating BPD?
- What type of training do they have?
- How many other patients with BPD are they treating?
- How do they feel about phone calls between visits?
- What form of treatment do they use?
- Do they take insurance?
If outpatient BPD therapy or outpatient BPD treatment doesn’t seem to be helping, or if you are making suicide attempts, a residential BPD treatment center may be the best course of action.