Borderline Personality Disorder

Stop Walking on Eggshells 2nd Edition

Because it is now 10 years old, New Harbinger has decided to publish a second edition of Stop Walking on Eggshells (aka SWOE). I read the first version of SWOE in October of 2005 and re-read it last year just to make sure that my impressions of the book were not rusty. SWOE is by far the most successful self-help book for Non-BPD people (loved ones of people with Borderline Personality Disorder – BPD). Just about everyone on my email support list (the ATSTP list) has read it.

I wanted to post a couple of observations about the new edition as well as some of the experiences that I and others have had with the book. My basic feeling about the book is that it is NOT a book to be used for staying with someone with BPD. SWOE is a book about YOU and YOUR feelings. It is a book that placates the Non-BPD person. That is fine, since that is the audience of the authors (which is probably why it has sold so many copies that and because it has a great title), yet people must realize that SWOE can’t be used to engender a trusting, loving relationship with someone with BPD. The evidence of this is in the subtitle: Taking back your life when someone you care about has borderline personality disorder. This is what I have observed from users of SWOE and the methods contained therein:  sure, you take your life back, but the relationship with the person you care about with BPD is wrecked.


Because SWOE is all about you. It is understandable that the authors created a book like this. I mean, how many of us Nons have asked “what about me?” Probably all of us. That’s a very natural question.

Yet, if the relationship is going to work properly, one of the first things that one must accept is that the behavior of the person with BPD is not about you.

What New Harbinger did with this new version of SWOE is that they highlighted the “angry non” aspect of the book. How? Look at the following images from the new version of SWOE:

As you can see, New Harbinger highlights the aspects of:

  • manipulation
  • irrational rages
  • that YOU are not crazy
  • chaos
  • standing up for yourself
  • protecting yourself

…which again is all very well and good if your goal in the relationship is to punish the other person and to make them behave. What really happens though is that the relationship will come to a screeching halt (or just get worse and worse) if you take this approach.

I know this because I tried it, as did several other husbands of wives with BPD and found (almost universally) that things get better for a while. SWOE CAN modify the BP’s behavior, but only through threats and punishment (which SWOE calls “boundaries”). Threats and punishment WORK, but only for a short period of time. When I applied the things in SWOE to my relationship, things got better for about a month or so. Then things got decidedly worse. The reason is that my wife was responding initially to the threat of punishment. However, those threats did not change her feelings or thoughts in any way. Only through positive reinforcement did she start to behave better. SWOE doesn’t teach positive reinforcement. And even positive reinforcement doesn’t change the way someone with BPD feels. That is done through a change in thinking patterns. You can take step one toward building a trusting, loving relationship with my book When Hope is Not Enough. Although the SWOE crowd don’t place much stock in it, it really works toward building a better relationship.


Additionally, if one wants to really change the relationship and build it into a more trusting, loving one, what ultimately has to change is the way one thinks (both the person with BPD and the Non-BPD). Approaching the relationship with a “I’m not crazy, you’re the one that’s crazy” attitude, which IMO SWOE advocates, will never improve the interpersonal relationship. If you want to know how to take step two and change the thinking, try my eBook Beyond Boundaries:

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I think one has to ask oneself – what is the goal of what I am doing? If the goal is to make yourself feel better and more in control, regardless of what the other person feels, SWOE is a good candidate for you. If you want to build a relationship built on mutual understanding and trust, you will have to look elsewhere.

If you still want to give the new version of SWOE a whirl, have at it…



  • matru

    I want to know what to do, because I have discovered my partener is BPO (my diagnosis, after reading all the books and online material) I am only 25 years old and have my whole life ahead.What should I do?

    He is a very angry person, with road rage, habitual lying, an unhealthy relationship with his mum, blames others for everything from his dirty house to poor grades in uni to his lack of general awareness. He is isolating me by making it difficult for me to call anyone, meet people, is very suspicious and also wants to control my finances. He says sometimes that he knows I am smarter than him but yet gets angry, raves and rants when I go about doing things without consulting him for every little thing. He has this “We against the world” attitude with me. He is also very manipulatuive and will change plans all the time. I am so tired. What should I do?

  • Randi Kreger

    SWOE does not equate limits with punishments. Limit-setting is not about punishment. It is about doing what you need to do for yourself and allowing a person’s actions to have consequences rather than protecting them from it by being codependent. If you think it says that, please tell me on what page so I can check it out. If you can’t find it, please change the copy in your blog.

    By the way, neither I nor Paul Mason had any input into what was or was not emphasized visually in the second edition.

  • Bon Dobbs


    Nice to hear from you again. I understand that neither you nor Paul Mason chose the emphasis of the art in SWOE. Yet, it is there and it points to (IMO) the “market” for the book. I’ve found in the past 8 years of dealing with BPD that SWOE does a good job of describing the condition, but a poor job of providing solutions that leave the relationship intact. The “punishment” comment is based on the reflections that I have had, along with 100’s of other “nons”, regarding the implementation of the skills in SWOE. The reality is that SWOE does little to take into account the feelings and mental state of the person with BPD.

    It appears that you used an Al-Anon model for dealing with people with BPD – with boundaries and “detaching with love” – and I have found that a person with BPD is decidedly different than alcoholics. Even the “non-BPD” moniker seems to come from the “non-alcoholic” of Al-Anon. While many people with BPD do have substance abuse issues, it’s a different set of skills to solve one or the other.

    People with BPD are incredibly sensitive and their emotional profile is very different than the alcoholic. While the skills in SWOE can “take your (non-BPD) life back,” I have yet to find a single person who was able to maintain a respectful, loving, day-to-day relationship with a person with BPD by using the tools in SWOE. I’m sure your experiences are different, yet I have time and time again found people that tried the approach in SWOE and found their relationship much worse. My personal experience with SWOE was that I bought both SWOE and the workbook and completed them with enthusiasm. Then, I tried out those skills with my wife and they worked for about 6 weeks. And when I say “worked” I mean that they changed her behavior for that period of time. What I didn’t realize was that my wife (with BPD) felt as though those skills were punishments and that I was treating her like a child. This caused her behavior to get much “worse” and more “crazy” than before. It wasn’t until I took a DBT family skills training class that I began to understand BPD as the expression of emotional dysregulation and pain. I also discovered that people with BPD can’t tolerate “tough love”.

    I think SWOE is oriented toward those people who want to escape the abuse of the borderlines in their lives. It’s interesting that the DBT skill DEAR is included, while the DBT skill GIVE is not. DEAR (MAN) is for getting what you want in a relationship, while GIVE is for strengthening the relationship. See:


    Randi, I wanted to have a mutually respectful, loving relationship with both my wife and daughter with BPD. That was not possible through the use of “limits” and “boundaries” or with “detaching with love”. It was only possible by developing compassion, engagement through emotional validation and mentalizing. I am not planning on changing what I wrote above because it will save time for those who want to develop a strong, compassionate relationship with a person with BPD. The EFFECT of boundaries is pain and punishment for a person with BPD, regardless of the intention. As I’ve said here before, intentions do not negate consequence. Just because you didn’t intend to burn down the house while playing with matches, doesn’t bring the house back. In the case of boundaries/limits and detachment, the consequence is a feeling of punishment and admonishment even if SWOE doesn’t indicate that this is the likely result.

    I’m curious if you have tried the skills in SWOE with your loved one with BPD and what your experience has been regarding the relationship.


  • Laura

    Excellent closing question Bon.I think it’s interesting that with Randi’s title, she writes “Taking your life back when someone you care about has borderline personality disorder.”Why then, did they ‘give’ the person with borderline their lives in the first place? Was it possibly because the borderline was the most lovable generous kind sensitive caring and attractive person they’d ever met?A borderline wouldn’t be so arrogant as to say they’d ‘given’ their life to someone else.’Given’ implies that the non-BPD made a huge sacrifice and was incredibly over-generous to allow the BPD person to have them. Rather egotistical to say the least. Narcissistic even Randi.

  • Randi Kreger

    I cowrote SWOE by try8ing out and testing the techniques I wrote about in the book, along with those of 100s of other people. So of course they worked, or I wouldn’t have put them in. If you look at the 5 and 4 star reviews, you will also see they worked for more than 100 other reviewers (I didn’t take an exact count).

    But my BP is not my partner, but an abusive rager–the invisible BPs not in treatment. Just knowing there was a diagnosis of BPD helped.

    There are tons of books out there for people with BPD who recognize they have a problem. But with Axis 11 disorders, they mostly don’t think they have a problem. The clinicians are blind to this because they only see people in the mental health setting, and all the studies are done with people who self-mutilate and feel suicidal. As thousands of other people will tell you, when the other person (BP) doesn’t think they contribute to the situation and aren’t willing to lift a finger to help the relationship, it’s much different.

    I don’t think the fault lies in our approaches. Yours work fine with one type of BP. Then, most of it overlaps. We have the same opinion of limits–I’ve read your book–and I still don’t see a page number citing a place in the book where I ever implied in any way limits were a punishment. Other people “getting that impression” is not good enough. So I hope you will follow up with that page number(s).

  • Randi Kreger

    Laura, most people with BPD partners are overgivers: very codependent. They have “given their life away” for that very reason–the person with BPD is their fantasy perfect object soulmate who will solve all their problems. The BP feels the same way. It’s the same story all the time for partners (not blood relatives). The problem comes later in the relationship when the codependent becomes the prime giver and the person with the PD goes into survival mode and their fear of abandonment and other things (see the BPD criteria) come out in full force.

    For example, one thing the BPs usually demand is that their spouse discontinue seeing friends and family. They become overly jealous. Codependents stop having their own lives and become obsessive about not displeasing their spouse. So taking back your life means becoming a whole person once again, or balancing the giving and taking.

    That’s a major simplification.

  • Mark

    The 261 4- and 5-star reviews, must be from people who’re THRILLED to finally discover they’re dealing with something that has a name and a set of typical symptoms and they’re not alone and there’s something they can do about it. I sure remember how thrilled *I* was to figure out and be able to put a name to what I was dealing with, and that first diagnosis was found online and SWOE’s identifiers led me to that diagnosis!!! They’ve likely started using SWOE’s approaches, and, like I did, found improvement. And then… before 2 months have gone by… posted their 4 or 5 star reviews…while they were still as exhilerated as I was then. Before the puzzled BP stops trying to figure out the change in approach, and starts being insulted and enraged by it, and SWOE’s prescription zealously followed, leads to the catastrophic and quite over-dramatized collapse of the BP relationship.

    Bon’s April 1 description above was DEAD-ON, as the experience of SO MANY SWOE-believers!!! I absolutely DEVOURED SWOE and it’s accompanying workbook, excited that there was a proven approach that would work. I didn’t catch SWOE’s subtitle… it’d work only to help me take back my life… by bringing the relationship to collapse and high-drama much-danger severing, not to help my relationship succeed which is what I really wanted. For those who doubt, go look at SWOE’s companion multiple WTO (Welcome To Oz) online groups, and witness the many thousands of angry, frustrated, hurt people who’ve done their absolute utmost best at SWOE’s prescription and have predictably failed and been greatly harmed, and become true haters of those with BPD… because they followed SWOE’s “boundaries-based” prescription that never accomplishes ANYTHING positive (unless the destruction of all relationships with BP’s is considered positive!)

    After attempting SWOE’s prescriptions religiously, brought my BP relationship to a decisive, catastrophic end, I found myself beginning to feel hatred towards my BP. This is the normal track for followers of SWOE. Thing is, I don’t allow hatred in my life, and I cast about desperately, to try to find SOME way to understand, how I could’ve thrown all my efforts into the supposedly tried-and-true mass-market answer to BPD… SWOE… and failed so catastrophically. What I discovered was, that SWOE prescribes the EXACT OPPOSITE of what WORKS with BPD, and guarantees failure of the relationship. I discovered ATSTP before Bon had even written a book, and was taught painstakingly by the members, and brought to a realization of MY part in misunderstanding what was REALLY going on. It takes uncommon understanding SWOE didn’t bring me… but ATSTP and WHINE did!!!

    I warn everyone I know who’s dealing with BPD, to never, EVER read SWOE except as a cautionary tale as to how NEVER to approach BPD unless you want to reap the whirlwind! And, I direct them to a little itty-bitty online newsgroup, called ATSTP. And a skinny book called When Hope Is Not Enough (WHINE) that was written by a guy who figured out for himself, what actually WORKS.

    BTW, Randi… I began to feel hatred towards my BP after we split, when she emptied my bank account, filed false police reports against me, and threatened to send highly sensitive photos (she’d copied from my computer) to my work to end my…at the time…18-year career….now at 23 years. I was ASTOUNDED that this woman could possibly be capable of such things, and equally astounded that I could’ve so misjudged HER character, when character is something of VERY HIGH importance to me and I’m normally an outstanding judge of character and need to be so in my career.

    Except I actually didn’t misjudge it. It’s just that her actual character was completely out-of-play when in the grip of her BPD-driven dysregulated fears and shame and out-of-control emotions. Everything she did, she did in a desperate attempt to get me back. After our split, I sought to understand and move on and get her to LEAVE ME ALONE, for God’s sake. I found Bon’s group, and WAY overshot my goal. After “getting” Bon’s philosophy, I found myself understanding what drove her to the extremes she went to, and over a couple of years, we gradually rejoined (to my VAST surprise… If anyone had told me that was not only even POSSIBLE but something I’d actually have the slightest interest in, I’d have told them they were out of their skulls!!!) While we’ve decided not to attempt to rejoin our households (3 and 2 kids), we’ve been back together now for over 3 years, and plan to fully rejoin once our kids are grown.

    Stop Walking On Eggshells, is about ending the relationship and “taking back your life”
    When Hope Is Not Enough, is about “living with and LOVING a person with BPD”.

    SWOE or WHINE. WTO or ATSTP. Congratulations on your huge commercial success, Randi! Not everyone’s cut out to engage in a relationship with a BP, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, your SWOE book and it’s dominance in sales, guarantees that even those (such as myself) who ARE well-suited for a relationship with a BP, won’t find the ability to find success there. Only if they…like I… keep seeking after your book’s prescriptions really screwed everything up. Your tough-love prescription is a CATASTROPHE for BPD beyond the first few weeks!!! Bon’s GOT THE GOODS for finding SUSTAINABLE relationships! And SWOE, has got the goods, when it comes to describing the experience of the “nons”, and then ending that relationship through a counterproductive approach. ATSTP has been described as a group of “SWOE refugees”. In my considerable experience, that is deadly accurate. Randi… listen to Bon…really hard. Your approach SUCKS for finding any sort of success with Borderline Personality Disorder, whatever the DSM may call it these days!

  • Randi Kreger

    Your interpretation of a boundaries only approach is your interpretation. There isn’t even one chapter on it. That is a fact. There is more–much more–information about validation and all the things that bring people together.

    I’m glad that Bon’s approach worked well for you. I just wish he didn’t see me as his competition and feel he needs to put my stuff down in order to build his up. If it was accurate and not an impression, that would be one thing. But I’ve made two requests for page numbers where I supposedly say all these things and you cannot provide them because it’s not there.

    Best wishes to you.

  • Bon Dobbs


    I think to dismiss people that have that interpretation of boundaries within SWOE is dismissive of many of your readers. Virtually everyone that has come to my online group (which I still participate in, when I have time) has read SWOE and has the interpretation of boundaries like Mark’s. In Mark’s case, the boundaries worked – but they worked to “take his life back” (which is the stated subtitle of your book as well as the title of the section in which boundaries are written about). The thing is that I am not the only writer about living with someone with BPD that has this approach toward boundaries. In Valerie Porr’s Overcoming BPD, she has a lot to say about boundaries, limits and “tough love”. In the summary section she says:

    “Avoid boundaries, limits, contracts, and tough love. These methods are not effective with people with BPD. Be sure that families understand that boundaries are generally viewed as punishment by the person with BPD. Be sure they understand how to change behavior by explaining reinforcement, punishment, shaping, and extinction so that they do not reinforce maladaptive behaviors.”

    Porr M.A., Valerie (2010-08-12). Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder:A Family Guide for Healing and Change (Kindle Locations 6185-6188). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

    Ms. Porr’s book is supported by many people in the research and clinical community, and the endorsers include: Anthony Bateman (a co-developer of MBT), Larry Siever (one of the most respected researchers of the disorder), Linda Dimeff (a top DBT researcher and clinician) and John Oldham (President-Elect of the American College of Psychiatrists). I don’t see how her words can be dismissed as a mere “interpretation” or “impression” of SWOE’s prescription.

    She also says:

    “Families coping with a loved one with BPD are well aware that the behavior of their loved one needs to change so that she can have a better life. In an effort to bring about behavioral changes, well-meaning family members may tell their loved one what to do, give her instruction as to how to do it, or actually do it for her. Or they might give her ultimatums, impose rules and regulations, or write contracts. With encouragement from well-meaning but uninformed therapists or other family members, they may impose boundaries or set limits. Many 12-step programs and self-help books echo this advice. The problem underlying your efforts to make the person you love with BPD change her behavior is that she interprets this as your saying, “You are unacceptable as you are now, in this very moment.” People with BPD often interpret their families’ efforts to be helpful as punishment, or as an attempt to control them. There is actually a grain of truth here! Families may also be asking their loved ones to do something that they are not capable of doing for now, such as getting a job when they have no skills, calming down when they lack the ability to control their emotions, or entering a DBT program requiring sobriety for a certain period of time when they do not have the distress tolerance skills to be able to accomplish this. They interpret their inability to fulfill these demands as proof that they are “losers” or “bad,” and feel shame. When their painful feelings are not accepted by the people closest to them, the situation often backfires, leading to abusive or impulsive behaviors, rage attacks, episodes of cutting, or suicide attempts.”

    Porr M.A., Valerie (2010-08-12). Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder:A Family Guide for Healing and Change (Kindle Locations 2619-2630). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

    And further:

    “Marsha Linehan wrote, “There is nothing that an individual experiences, feels, thinks, does or says that is not himself or herself. Validation treats the person as relevant and meaningful, as compelling serious attention and acceptance. The person, in the moment, is visible and seen.”1 When you validate a person, your reaction is determined by your own response to the person, in this very moment. Your response needs to be independent of any arbitrary set of rules, roles, contracts, boundaries, any philosophical point of view, any past behaviors, or any future expectations. Validation does not employ the logical words we generally use to interpret or explain situations or to solve problems. Instead, it uses emotions as a new language.”

    Porr M.A., Valerie (2010-08-12). Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder:A Family Guide for Healing and Change (Kindle Locations 2424-2430). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.


    “Part of validating the past is acknowledging that you may have made mistakes in the past. You may have been advised to hospitalize your loved one or place him in residential treatment if he cut himself or exhibited impulsive behaviors. You might have been encouraged to implement limits and boundaries. You were desperate about his safety and did not know what else to do. A well-known Internet site advises family members to imagine “duct tape” on their own mouths to remind them not to respond to their loved with BPD. This level of invalidation could escalate anyone’s emotions. For you, as a family member, learning new, effective methods to help your loved one can be a very painful experience because you must take responsibility for all the “wrong” things you may have done for the “right” reasons, often with the guidance and support of professionals.”

    Porr M.A., Valerie (2010-08-12). Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder:A Family Guide for Healing and Change (Kindle Locations 2962-2968). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

    And lastly (although I could go on and on with the text from Overcoming BPD):

    “Radical acceptance of your loved one with BPD means giving up the illusion of control and the desire to establish control in every situation. This is very hard to do, especially when you fear for the safety of your loved one. So many family members, faced with the impulsive, self-destructive behaviors of people with BPD, persist in trying to control their loved one’s behavior by making rules and regulations, or by imposing contracts, boundaries, or limits. However, such rules and regulations often make the person with BPD feel as though he is fighting to survive and may result in his becoming even more rigid and inflexible. The energy you save when you accept reality will serve as fuel for the courage and persistence you need to change reality.”

    Porr M.A., Valerie (2010-08-12). Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder:A Family Guide for Healing and Change (Kindle Locations 4277-4282). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

    So, the idea that boundaries and limits can improve the relationship is not in keeping with the approach that DBT family skills supports. The question is “why do these people (with BPD) ‘interpret’ boundaries and limits as punishment?” (which is the situation to which I was referring in my original post as well as in my response. I included the text about intentions for that reason, as I don’t think it’s SWOE’s intention to punish the borderline with boundaries, yet that is the effect of boundaries. I think it’s makes more sense to accept the reality of the situation, rather than intending and wishing that it was something else). Barbara Stanley and Dr. Larry Siever have a theory about the brain on someone with BPD. The theory is 3-fold:

    – borderlines lack u-opiods and have overactive u-opiod receptors. This explains the emotional pain, the self-injury, the “dead inside” feeling of BPD and the overuse of opiates.
    – borderlines have a debt of oxytocin. This explains the mistrust and the inability to make a healthy attachment to others.
    – borderlines have a glut of vasopressin. This explains the aggression and feelings of threat when none exists.

    They say:

    For several years, there has been an ongoing discussion about whether impulsive aggression or affective dysregulation is at the core of the disorder. While these factors are important in borderline personality disorder, it is the exquisite interpersonal sensitivity that frequently triggers both dysregulated affect and impulsive behaviors, which suggests that this sensitivity perhaps rests at the core of the disorder and may in turn drive impulsivity and dysregulated affect.

    It is noteworthy that many symptoms in the interpersonal domain of borderline personality disorder are actually manifestations of intrapersonal difficulties (e.g., difficulty being alone and misperception of the intentions of others as malevolent), and this dimension could perhaps be reconceptualized as “intrapersonal dysfunction.” We suggest that an internal feeling of well-being, stability, and self-regulation in borderline personality disorder is tenuous and may rely heavily on a sense of interpersonal contact and connectedness.

    When these important figures are unavailable or rejecting, these individuals can experience a plummeting loss of well-being with accompanying feelings of abandonment. The behaviors that result—suicidal expressions, emotional outbursts, and clinginess—appear manipulative and excessive, but to the person with borderline personality disorder they may be survival tactics to maintain self-esteem, given that their sense and integrity of self rely to a large extent on others. It is easier to understand the excessive clinginess, demandingness, and panic at the thought of abandonment in the individual with borderline personality disorder if one considers that preserving interpersonal connectedness serves not only to preserve a key relationship but also, perhaps more importantly, to provide a sense of cohesiveness of self. Indeed, this may be a key to understanding the fear of abandonment, panicky avoidance of being alone, problems with trust in intimate relationships, biases in social judgment, and consequent turbulent relationships and self-injurious behavior in borderline personality disorder.

    Three main symptom clusters or dimensions have been identified (7): 1) behavioral dysregulation, characterized by impulsive aggression (4, 8, 10–16), nonsuicidal self-injury and suicidal behavior (6), substance abuse, recklessness, impulsive spending, and inappropriate displays of anger; 2) affect dysregulation (17–19), characterized by emotional lability, intense negative emotional reactions (e.g., shame), difficulty recovering from disturbing triggers (even seemingly modest ones), and pervasive dysphoria (4, 6, 9, 17, 18); and 3) disturbances in interpersonal relatedness, characterized by turbulent relationships and fear of perceived or real abandonment. Neither behavioral nor affect dysregulation is unique to borderline personality disorder. Behavioral problems are prominent in antisocial personality disorder (15, 16) and intermittent explosive disorder. Affective reactivity (19) and dysphoria occur in axis I mood disorders, particularly bipolar disorder. However, unlike bipolar disorder, the affective experience of chronic emptiness (9) seems to be unique to borderline personality disorder.

    The third dimension of borderline symptomatology, disturbance in interpersonal relatedness, serves to differentiate this disorder from axis I and other axis II disorders. Gunderson et al. (20) found that two interpersonal criteria, avoidance of abandonment and unstable relationships, differentiated borderline from other personality disorders.

    As noted above, symptoms in this domain manifest both intra- and interpersonally, and this too is unique to borderline personality disorder (21).

    Neurobiological studies have begun to examine this interaction (21–25). In the intrapersonal domain, cognitive distortions include misperceiving others’ intentions, classifying people in extremes as “good” and “bad” (26, 27), misperceiving abandonment threats, attributing malevolent intentions to others where none exist, and inability to understand the mental state of others (i.e., mentalization) (28). Interpersonal manifestations typically include excessive dependency and turbulent relationships. However, these symptoms too can be viewed as manifestations of difficulties in the intrapersonal domain: others may be needed for self-definition and soothing, and thus neediness and hypervigilance to real or perceived abandonment can be readily understood.

    24 Am J Psychiatry 167:1, January 2010, “The Interpersonal Dimension of Borderline Personality Disorder: Toward a Neuropeptide Model”, Barbara Stanley, Ph.D., Larry J. Siever, M.D.

    When I see you say that there is a “new type” of borderline (the “invisible” borderline), I can’t help but think that, rather than adjusting your prescription to the patient (the non-BPD), you adjusted your patient (the non-BPD of the “invisible” BPD) to the prescription. It appears that you have added NPD to your blog on Psychology Today and are blogging about narcissists as frequently as borderlines. Have you considered that the invisible borderline may not be borderline at all? Or that the prescription that you provide doesn’t work with “borderline classic”?

  • Mark

    Randi… it’s not that folks need to tear your approach down to build his up. It’s that your approach, followed energetically and zealously, predictably leads to the results I experienced: Failure. I got my life back, all right… but it was a close call of my getting out of it without major harm to my life and career, as I was still following your books’ advice, still thinking it must be the right approach. Your approach was a calamity, made things much much worse.. THEN I had to figure out what had happened, to figure out how my very best efforts at…what I’d believed was the proven approach…could’ve possibly resulted in such catastrophe, and things were getting worse and I couldn’t extricate myself from the ruins without the damage she threatened. I can do nearly anything I’m determined to do, and I was determined to find success, and believed that yours was tried and true. Well, I succeeded in USING and faithfully FOLLOWING your approach. It was the approach itself that was a failure, and I can now see how much of what I did in following SWOE’s, was the exact wrongest thing I could’ve done in dealing with BPD. I was trying only to figure out how to close that chapter and move on, and instead the new understanding and approaches I found at ATSTP, ended up with us back together…contentedly if not always easily… for several years now.

  • maria

    I just found this website, and was browsing a bit. It has been 6 years since Mantru posted her heartfelt request for some advice and support at the top of this page. Somebody posted a rather insensitive question: “What do you want to do?” Clearly she was feeling overwhelmed and concerned for her husband, and that poster didn’t even bother to validate her feelings and confusion.Then an extended argument about two different books ensued. I just skimmed through it looking for someone caring enough to reach out. After all these years I am moved and hurt for Mantru, and truly hope that she found the help she needed through another venue.


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