Synopses & Reviews
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by unstable moods, negative self-image, dangerous impulsivity, and tumultuous relationships. Many people with BPD excel in academics and careers while revealing erratic, self-destructive, and sometimes violent behavior only to those with whom they are intimate. Others have trouble simply holding down a job or staying in school.
Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder is a compassionate and informative guide to understanding this profoundly unsettling--and widely misunderstood--mental illness, believed to affect approximately 6% of the general population. Rather than viewing people with BPD as manipulative opponents in a bitter struggle, or pitying them as emotional invalids, Valerie Porr cites cutting-edge science to show that BPD is a true neurobiological disorder and not, as many come to believe, a character flaw or the result of bad parenting. Porr then clearly and accessibly explains what BPD is, which therapies have proven effective, and how to rise above the weighty stigma associated with the disorder. Offering families and loved ones supportive guidance that both acknowledges the difficulties they face and shows how they can be overcome, Porr teaches empirically-supported and effective coping behaviors and interpersonal skills, such as new ways of talking about emotions, how to be aware of nonverbal communication, and validating difficult experiences. These skills are derived from Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Mentalization-based Therapy, two evidence-based treatments that have proven highly successful in reducing family conflict while increasing trust. Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder is an empowering and hopeful resource for those who wish to gain better understanding of the BPD experience--and to make use of these insights in day-to-day family interactions.
Winner of the ABCT Self Help Book Seal of Merit Award 2011
"Valerie Porr has championed the cause of people with borderline personality disorder for decades. Her understanding of the disorder and its effects on the individuals themselves and their families, partners, and friends is outstanding. This readable and informative book distils her years of experience and her first hand knowledge of how to help patients and families, providing the practical wisdom that comes only with a genuine understanding of what it is to be 'borderline'. This is required reading for anyone, from novice to expert, who seeks an understanding of borderline personality disorder and who wants practical guidance on what helps."
--Anthony Bateman, Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Barnet, Enfield, and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust and Visiting Professor University College, London
"Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder by Valerie Porr is like water for a parched land. Few psychiatric disorders are as misunderstood as borderline personality disorder, a condition that can be profoundly disabling to patients and devastating to families. Opinions about what families should do are plentiful, but evidence-based guidance, derived from solid research, is rare. This is what this book delivers. It is an invaluable roadmap for families of patients with BPD."
--John Oldham, Chief of Staff, The Menninger Clinic
"An important book for family members of people with BPD."
--Larry Siever, Professor of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
"She ably explains neuroscience as it applies here and emphasizes understanding, validation, and acceptance (not unconditional love)... An outstanding model of the psychoeducational approach, this volume bridges a daunting gap between laity and psychotherapists. Highly recommended for professionals as well as families of these patients." --Library Journal
BPD is a potentially devastating mental disorder characterized by unstable moods, negative self-image, and dangerous impulsivity. Many people with BPD excel in academics and careers while revealing erratic, self-destructive, and sometimes violent behavior only to those with whom they are intimate. Others have trouble simply holding down a job or staying in school. It is believed that suicide claims about one in ten people with BPD. Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change is a compassionate, informative, and reassuring guide to understanding this profoundly unsettling--and widely misunderstood--mental illness, believed to affect 2-3% of the general population. Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder offers families and loved ones supportive guidance that both validates the difficulties they face and shows how they can be overcome. Rather than viewing people with BPD as manipulative opponents in a bitter struggle, or pitying them as emotional invalids, this book argues that BPD is in fact a true neurobiological disorder. It clearly explains what BPD is, which therapies have proven most effective, and how to overcome the stigma associated with the disorder. The book teaches concerned family members effective coping behaviors and interpersonal skills, such as new ways of talking about emotions, building awareness of nonverbal communication, and validating difficult experiences. These skills are derived from Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Mentalization Therapy, two evidence-based treatments that have proven highly successful in reducing family conflict and aggressive incidents in the home, while increasing hope and trust. Providing accessible explanations of cutting-edge neurobiological research, Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder takes a fundamentally different approach to the disorder: an empowering and hopeful guide to increasing understanding of the BPD experience--and to mak
About the Author
Valerie Porr, M.A.,
is a mental health educator and advocate trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and the founder and president of the Treatment and Research Advancements National Association for Personality Disorder (TARA NAPD). She conducts psycho-educational training seminars for family members of those with BPD in New York and elsewhere.
Table of Contents
Loving Someone with BPD: The Family Experience
The Science of Borderline Personality Disorder
The Principles of Behavior Change
Understanding Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Understanding and Applying Validation
Grieving and Radical Acceptance
DBT Skills for Behavior Change: Interpersonal Relationships, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance
Mentalization: Understanding misunderstandings
Putting It All Together: Integrating Skills for Acceptance and Change
Afterword: For Clinicians
1. A Voice for the Voiceless: Validating Families of People with BPD
2. The Juggler: Reframing BPD - An Overview of Neurobiology of the Disorder
3. How Do You Change Behavior
4. Validation: Talking to the Amygdala
5. How to Speak Emotion: What are Emotions - Learning the Language of BPD
6. Radical Acceptance and Grieving
7. Understanding DBT
8. Mindfulness and DBT Coping Skills
9. Is DBT enough? Understanding Mentalization
10. Putting it All Together: How to Do the DBT Dance
11. Collaborating for Change: What Clinicians Need to Know