By Michelle Quilter, PsyD, CASAC

In an article written by Harvard University Medical School, the author identified encouraging news about treating Borderline Personality Disorder. He cited the ongoing Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorders Study in which researchers from Brown University, Columbia University, Harvard University, and Yale University, recruited nearly 600 patients with a variety of diagnoses to participate with the goal of comparing long-term symptom remission and ability to function socially in patients with Borderline Personality Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, and Major Depression. The study found that after receiving psychotherapy, at the 10-year mark, 85% of people with Borderline Personality Disorder had achieved remission. This was similar to the rate for people with Major Depression. The study also found that once those with BPD received remission from their symptoms, they were unlikely to relapse.

In regard to the ability to function socially, results were less encouraging. When researchers examined factors such as life satisfaction, employment, and marital status, they found that people who had Borderline Personality Disorder had improved slightly but remained significantly impaired when compared with the Major Depression group. Researchers concluded based on the evidence present in the study that “while psychotherapy may help patients with borderline personality disorder learn to reduce stress and paranoia or refrain from hurting themselves, it may not help them to become satisfied with their lives or form lasting relationships.”

The good news is that Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is not typical psychotherapy. DBT includes four modules that have been proved to help participants become more satisfied with life and form long lasting relationships. The four modules include Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotional Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. Interpersonal Effectiveness skills are specifically designed to enhance participants’ abilities to develop and maintain meaningful relationships. The remaining three modules are targeted at helping clients become satisfied with life.

Lifeskills South Florida offers a 13 week DBT skills training program. Typical outpatient treatment using DBT lasts for one year and includes once weekly group therapy sessions, individual DBT, and phone consultation DBT coaching. At our residential level of care, we offer three skills training groups per week, individual DBT, and phone consultation DBT coaching. DBT uses this combination of psychotherapy techniques, education, and individual and group psychotherapy to support the patient’s progress.

Lifeskills South Florida offers many advantages to the combination of evidenced-based therapies. These include:

  • State of the art medication management combined with DBT
  • Weekly medication management meetings with Psychiatrist.
  • Masters-level or greater licensed therapists foundationally trained in DBT
  • A frequency of DBT individual and group therapies far greater than typical once a week outpatient approaches; the intensity of our programming, and individualized to each individual’s unique needs, has resulted in therapeutic gains and successful targeted results in 60-90 days, that otherwise might take 12 months in traditional outpatient settings.
  • The combined effects of concurrent treatment approaches is unique

For more information about how Lifeskills South Florida might be a right fit for your challenges in managing and overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder, contact us at 866-321-9430.