skip to Main Content
treatment for BPD photo 1
What is BPD?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that can make it difficult for people to feel safe in their relationships with other people, to have healthy thoughts and beliefs about themselves, and to control their emotions and impulses. People with BPD may experience distress in their work, family and social life, and may harm themselves. Having BPD is not the person’s fault – it is a condition of the brain and mind.

Research has not yet discovered how exactly how a person develops BPD, but it probably involves a combination of biological factors (such as genetics) and experiences that happen to a person while growing up (such as trauma in early life). For most people with BPD, symptoms begin during adolescence or as a young adult, but tend to improve during adult life.

Treatment of BPD

For many people with BPD, their goals for treatment involve managing their emotions, finding purpose in life, and building better relationships. Many people with BPD have experienced significant trauma, either in the past or in their daily lives, so they need health care that makes them feel safe while they recover.

It is important to remember that BPD is a treatable condition, and that many people recover from BPD.

Psychological treatment of BPD

According to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s 2012 publication, Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Borderline Personality Disorder, people with BPD should be provided with structured psychological therapies that are specifically designed for BPD, and conducted by one or more health professionals who are adequately trained and supervised. Here at The Glow Centre we pride ourselves on our clinicians’ high level of training and supervision in treating BPD using psychological treatment.

The psychological therapies that have the greatest evidence base for treating BPD are Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Schema-Focused Therapy (SFT), Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT), and Transference Focused Psychotherapy (TFP).

A number of clinicians at The Glow Centre have special interest and special training in treatments for BPD. We have extensive training and experience in both SFT and DBT.

treatment for ptsd
DBT

DBT has been evaluated in more clinical research than any other psychological therapy for BPD. At The Glow Centre, DBT is our treatment of choice for BPD.

DBT was first developed in the 1990s by Marsha Linehan. It was the first treatment designed specifically to target the difficulties experienced by people with BPD, and to combine traditional change-focused therapy with the philosophy of acceptance of things as they are in the moment. Standard comprehensive DBT or “fully adherent” DBT programs involve weekly individual therapy, weekly skills training (usually in a group), between-session skills coaching (“phone coaching”), and therapist participation in a consultation team. These are the four modes of DBT.  Please note: standard comprehensive DBT is currently not available at The Glow Centre.

Traditional DBT is undertaken for 6-12 months. Over time, DBT has been applied to many different populations, and there have been some adaptations of the model such as standalone skills training, and shortened versions of DBT.

It is important to note that the strongest evidence base is for standard comprehensive DBT including all four modes. Current evidence shows that standard DBT is associated with improvements in anger, depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal behaviours, and general wellbeing. Evidence is emerging into how helpful the adaptations of DBT can be, including that skills training alone is associated with improvements in BPD symptoms, anger, depression and anxiety.

DBT at The Glow Centre

In keeping with our value of clinical excellence, DBT is our treatment of choice for BPD. We offer a range of DBT-informed interventions. When someone is referred to us for DBT, we perform a thorough assessment and develop an individualised treatment plan in collaboration with our client, depending on the level of intensity that each requires.

Comprehensive DBT

12-month intensive program including:

Skills training groups (2.5 hours per week)

+

Individual therapy (1 hour per week)

+

Between-session coaching

+

Consultation team support

Individual therapy

Individual therapy typically involves weekly one-to-one sessions with a DBT therapist. Each session lasts approximately 50-60 minutes. The individual sessions have specific areas of focus, including helping keep you safe, reducing behaviours that interfere with therapy, helping reach your goals and improve your quality of life, and helping you learn new skills.

Skills training groups

In these sessions DBT therapists will teach you skills in a group setting. There are typically four sets of skills taught over three modules – mindfulness skills, distress tolerance skills, emotion regulation skills, and interpersonal effectiveness skills. DBT skills training groups are held weekly for 2.5 hours.

Between-session phone coaching

DBT often uses telephone contact between sessions to support you in using new skills in your day-to-day life. This means you can call your therapist between your therapy sessions when you need help the most, such as when you need help to deal with an immediate crisis, or when you are trying to use your DBT skills and need advice on how to do it.

Consultation team (DBT treating team)

DBT therapists are highly trained and maintaining their skills is considered an important part of this approach. DBT therapists meet weekly to discuss their clients in treatment, and clients benefit from the collective knowledge and skills of the whole treating team.

Skills Training and Individual Therapy

12-month intensive program including:

Skills training groups (2.5 hours per week)

+

Individual therapy (1 hour per week or fortnight)

+

Consultation team support

Individual therapy

Individual therapy typically involves weekly one-to-one sessions with a DBT therapist. Each session lasts approximately 50-60 minutes. The individual sessions have specific areas of focus, including helping keep you safe, reducing behaviours that interfere with therapy, helping reach your goals and improve your quality of life, and helping you learn new skills.

Skills training groups

In these sessions DBT therapists will teach you skills in a group setting. There are typically four sets of skills taught over three modules – mindfulness skills, distress tolerance skills, emotion regulation skills, and interpersonal effectiveness skills. DBT skills training groups are held weekly for 2.5 hours.

Consultation team (DBT treating team)

DBT therapists are highly trained and maintaining their skills is considered an important part of this approach. DBT therapists meet weekly to discuss their clients in treatment, and clients benefit from the collective knowledge and skills of the whole treating team.

The DBT PE protocol

At The Glow Centre, we have two of only a handful of clinicians in Australia who have undertaken training in delivering DBT PE. DBT PE is the second stage of treatment for people with BPD, which targets their symptoms of PTSD.

Not sure what type of DBT is best for you?

If you are unsure which of the above you would be best suited for, we would suggest to make an appointment with one of our DBT clinicians so that they can undertake a DBT assessment and help develop an individualised DBT treatment plan.

The clinician can make recommendations on what will best meet your needs.

A DBT assessment is charged at the rate of an individual one-on-one session.

Back To Top