Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Borderline Personality Disorder

It is former Harvard professor and psychiatrist Theodore Millon's life work that personality is composed of numerous major spheres of structure and functioning. In essence personality is not simply about behavior, or about cognition or unconscious conflicts, but the interaction of all of this to comprise a person (Millon, 2006). Echoing proof in this capactity is the continued discussion of individuals with borderline personality disorder. These individuals show a very distinctive black and white cognition, rationale or irrationale. Indeed twenty to forty percent of these individuals have episodes where reality is elusive within extreme episodes. Another significance is that roughly seventy five percent of these folks are women (Hersen et al., 2007).
What are some of the possible causes that contribute to the development of BPD?
Research from a genetic etiology indicates that attributes of impulsivity and affective instability are partly inheritable. Other research traces the quantity and firing work of serotonin, like in so many other psychological quandries (Hersen et al. 2007).
In the psychosocial developmental realm, instances of traumatic childhood expreriences appear as themes in self-reportings of those within researched studies. Teasing out other variables of these client's childhood experience within the abuse or neglectful home is always complicated work. A weakened family structure so pervasive in American homes is considered causal to the higher instances of this disorder here in the states.
Describe the essential characteristics of someone struggling with a Borderline Personality Disorder.
Millon describes personality disorders through the lenses of structure and function. Functional attributes are as follows:
Expressively spasmodic- impulsivity, lack of energy, self-harming behaviors
Interpersonally paradoxical- manipulative, volatile, angry all working against their need of others

Fluctuating Cognition- vascillating love, rage, and guilt creating conflicting feedback for others

Structural attributes are:

Uncertain self-image- waivering identity, emptiness, self-punitive

Incompatible object relations- aborted lessons, incongruent memories, contradictory needs, erratic impulses and poor skills in conflict resolution

Regression regulatory mechanism- lower development skill set

split morphologic organization- inability to be consistent across the elements, schism with reality

labile mood temperament- shifts in mood, energy from mania to melancholia

What seem to be the most effective treatment techniques with clients struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder?
Personalized psychotherapy joins with thinkers of the past and argue that the following cannot extend beyond the scope of a clinician’s regard: the family and culture, neurobiological processes, unconscious memories, and so on (Millon, 2006).
More specifically, Millon offers CBT and catalytic sequences in personalized psychotherapy. The patient's thoughts and behaviors are corrected concurrent to catalytic sequences in step with tasks that can be meaningfully resolved within the new and improved thinking and behaving to reinforce the larger picture of working on the self towards an improved self.


Hersen, M., Turner, S.M., and Beidel, D.C. (2007).Adult Psychopathology and Diagnosis, Fifth Edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Millon,T. (2006). Institute for advanced studies in Personology and Psychopathology. Retrieved 1/25/2011 at

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