If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), you may wonder what role the family plays in the treatment of the condition.
You may think that BPD treatment is strictly relegated to one-on-one interaction between a therapist and a patient. And although treatment does incorporate the standard therapist/patient model, it also involves group therapy with other BPD patients and, ideally, some type of family therapy.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which involves individual and group sessions, is the treatment of choice for Borderline Personality Disorder. In addition to family therapy, family members can also benefit greatly by familiarizing themselves with the DBT model.
Family involvement by parents, siblings, and spouses when treating BPD can be beneficial for all involved. Many family members struggle with understanding the behaviors and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. You may be overwhelmed by having to deal with a loved one’s symptoms and consequently experience stress and feelings of guilt. Family therapy can help you have a better understanding of BPD and learn to better cope with how you handle it.
The symptoms of BPD can have a negative impact on how a family functions, while a dysfunctional family can exacerbate BPD symptoms. These two factors can create a negative cycle that worsens BPD symptoms and further impairs a family’s functioning. Family therapy can be very effective in helping to identify these cycles and control the potential damage to both the family and the patient.
Successful family therapy can help manage BPD symptoms and improve overall family functioning. As a result, this may instill an enhanced feeling of trust and support for your loved one suffering with BPD and create a better chance for long-term recovery.