Borderline Personality Disorder,  Resources,  Self-Injury,  Suicide,  Treatment

Mentalization Based Therapy Shows Promise with BPD

Here’s an article on mentalization based therapy (MBT). A snip:

mark_suicide_4b19.gif The study, “8-Year Follow-Up of Patients Treated for Borderline Personality Disorder: Mentalization-Based Treatment Versus Treatment as Usual,” is the latest analysis of a randomized trial first reported in AJP in October 1999 and titled “Effectiveness of Partial Hospitalization in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”

Joel Paris, M.D., an expert on BPD, explained that mentalization therapy, developed by Bateman and Fonagy in the 1990s, is based on attachment theory and on observations that BPD patients have a failure of “mentalization”—the ability to observe their own emotions and those of other people and to appreciate how their behavior may affect others.

“Mentalization-based therapy can be considered as an amalgam of psychodynamic and cognitive methods,” he told Psychiatric News.

For instance, a case report included in the study describes a 24-year-old woman who was referred from forensic services after her arrest for setting fire to her university dormitory.

She had a history of recent suicide attempts and regularly burned herself with cigarettes and a hot iron. In individual sessions, treatment initially focused on clarifying her own feelings and others’ experience of her; later it progressed to helping her appreciate how her experiences of self-doubt and emotional turbulence led to a sense of fragmentation that was controlled only by experiences of intense physical pain, according to Bateman and Fonagy.

“The individual therapist identified these processes while focusing on the way she represented her own mental states and those of others with whom she interacted,” they wrote. “Gradually this was explored within the relationship with the therapist.”

They report the patient as stating, “It never occurred to me that what I did had an effect on anyone else.”

I have to say the suicide figures are astounding, especially when it comes to attempts. I mean, over 80% in two of the categories!

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