Skip to main content

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, mental health disorder. It is a complex psychological condition that is characterized by pervasive instability in moods, emotions, behaviors, and interpersonal relationships. This instability interferes with one’s ability to function in his or her daily life, long-term planning, as well as an individual’s sense of identity. Treatment for BPD aims to help an individual learn strategies, techniques, and tools to effectively manage the symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder, reducing the severity of symptoms experienced and increasing one’s quality of life. 

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapeutic modality that combines techniques from western cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psycho-educational modules, and eastern mindfulness-based practices. It was developed in the late 1980s by Marsha M. Linehan as a therapeutic approach specifically geared to treat individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, suffering from pervasive suicidal thoughts and/ or attempts. Psychology Today explains that the “goal of DBT is to transform negative thinking patterns and destructive behaviors into positive outcomes.” It is comprised of three distinct settings: weekly individual therapy sessions, weekly DBT group skills training sessions, and as-needed phone coaching. Within each setting, DBT utilizes four main strategies, or four modules, for teaching individuals’ skills that target common symptoms of BPD (e.g., unstable sense of self, chaotic relationships, fear of abandonment, emotional lability, impulsivity, etc.). They include the following, as provided by Behavioral Tech

  1. Core mindfulness: skills focused on improving an individual’s ability to accept and be present in any given moment.
  2. Distress tolerance: skills focused on increasing an individual’s tolerance of negative emotions instead of attempting to avoid or escape them.
  3. Emotion regulation: skills focused on helping an individual identify, name, and understand the function of emotions, and increasing one’s ability to regulate emotions. 
  4. Interpersonal effectiveness: skills focused on authentically advocating for one’s own wants and needs in a relationship in a way that is both self-respecting and non-damaging.

The American Psychological Association (APA) explains that DBT “establishes a ‘dialectic’ between helping individuals to accept the reality of their lives and their own behaviors on the one hand and helping them learn to change their lives, including dysfunctional behaviors, on the other.” This gives individuals struggling with BPD the opportunity to build meaningful and stable lives. To date, DBT remains the only empirically supported treatment for borderline personality disorder.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Back to top