Psychotherapy effective in treating BPD

PATIENTS with borderline personality disorder (BPD), once regarded as ‘difficult’ or ‘impossible’, can be treated effectively with psychotherapy, an expert says.

Speaking at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry’s psychotherapy conference in Melbourne recently, psychiatrist Dr Josephine Beatson said well-designed clinical trials had shown the benefits of psychotherapeutic approaches for BPD. However, a more traditional approach had been shown to cause adverse effects.

“The problem was these patients didn’t respond to classical psychoanalysis,” she said.
 “[By this] I mean ‘using the couch’: technical neutrality, which means being largely silent, not responding directly to the patient’s questions. 

“It’s as if it’s a repeat of their too-frequent childhood experiences of emotional neglect and invalidation.”