Before addressing the obstacles we may face DURING the treatment process, we must take a hard look at the difficulties of even finding treatment options. Those of you who have been through multiple therapeutic attempts will know firsthand the devastating lack of valid treatment options for Borderline Personality Disorder.
If you are versed in the world of BPD, you know most suggestions include Dialectical Behavior Therapy, antidepressant medications, antipsychotics, talk therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, etc. Often, studies suggest a combination of two or more of these treatments. If you research the treatment choices online, you can usually find an abundance of doctors, therapists, counselors, social workers, and behavioral analysts who can provide you with “answers.” You’ve probably heard most of them. How do we sift through them all?
People with BPD struggle to remain with one therapist or treatment approach for an extended amount of time. Therefore, the importance of finding a doctor/therapist who “clicks” with the patient is going to increase the chances that the patient remains in treatment. The right one will be someone who can accept the client UNCONDITIONALLY, and work with him/her even in situation of distress. The more knowledge of and experience with Borderline clients the better. Just as important is finding someone who supports the theory that BP is a medical, neurological dysfunction of the brain. A combination of medical treatment and therapy will give you the best chances for success. Ideally therapeutic treatment will include group therapy as well as individual sessions.
Your treatment team should be up-to-date on the latest research concerning your mental illness. New studies are coming out all the time with game-changing information on best treatment approaches both medical and therapeutic. Even Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a relatively new treatment that your team should be following as reports come out about it effectiveness.
Keep an eye out for counselors that include keywords in their treatment descriptions, such as mindfulness and emotion regulation. Also search for treatment options under different names for your disorder or other related disorders, e.g. Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Emotional Dysregulation Disorder, and others.
The context of acceptance and stability while reinforcing positive behavior changes requires people who can be flexible with their clients, patient in the midst of emotional turmoil, slow progress or even backsliding, and must be willing to approach the many comorbid disorders we find in people with BPD, such as ADHD, Major Depressive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Also, don’t be afraid to try some new approaches like personal and family coaching! Many people don’t realize this is an option when seeking professional help for someone with Borderline, but it can offer the flexibility and extra attention needed to clients who have time constraints or find it difficult to leave home for appointments.
BPD treatment is a long road, but it’s a road that will take you in the right direction, towards health and joy and positive relationships. Once you start to see these positive changes in your life, you won’t regret the hard work it took to find the help that fits your specific needs.