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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. Individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder often experience swift mood swings, including intense episodes of depression, anger, and/ or anxiety that may range in duration, lasting as short as a couple of hours to several days. The symptoms associated with BPD frequently result in highly unstable patterns of social relationships. This chronic condition is also associated with high rates of self-injury and suicidal behavior. The treatment for BPD often includes long-term participation in psychodynamic models of psychotherapy.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. It is founded on the principals of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and blends Eastern mindfulness techniques (e.g., awareness, mindfulness, and attentiveness to current situations and emotional experiences) to encourage acceptance and change. Psychologist Marsha M. Linehan developed DBT in the late 1980s as a treatment method specifically designed for chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Since its inception, dialectical behavior therapy has been and remains the gold standard method of treatment for individuals diagnosed with BPD and has also proven effective in treating individuals with other mental health conditions. DBT is a rigidly structured therapeutic approach that is carried out in three therapeutic settings: weekly individual therapy sessions, weekly DBT skills training group therapy sessions, and as-needed phone coaching. This allows participants to engage in individualized and collective treatment while focusing on the four modules of DBT, which are:

  1. Core mindfulness: the practice of being completely present and aware in the moment.
  2. Distress tolerance: becoming tolerant of pain in difficult situations instead of attempting to change it.
  3. Emotion regulation: decreasing emotional impulsivity, learning to manage and shift intense, problematic emotions.
  4. Interpersonal effectiveness: authentically advocating for one’s own wants and needs in a relationship in a way that is both self-respecting and non-damaging.

The entire DBT program (provided skills modules are not repeated) usually lasts about six months long, as approximately six weeks are allocated to each of the four skills modules. DBT is based on the notion that change can be balanced with self-acceptance. This gives individuals struggling with BPD the opportunity to build meaningful and stable lives. Dialectical behavior therapy aims to help an individual learn strategies, techniques, and tools to effectively manage the symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder, reduce the severity of symptoms experienced, and enhance one’s quality of life.

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.

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