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Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: Progress and Remaining Challenges

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this review was to critically evaluate the literature on psychotherapies for borderline personality disorder (BPD) published over the past 5 years to identify the progress with remaining challenges and to determine priority areas for future research.

Method

A systematic review of the literature over the last 5 years was undertaken.

Results

The review yielded 184 relevant abstracts, and after applying inclusion criteria, 16 articles were fully reviewed based on the articles’ implications for future research and/or clinical practice.

Conclusion

Our review indicated that patients with various severities benefited from psychotherapy; more intensive therapies were not significantly superior to less intensive therapies; enhancing emotion regulation processes and fostering more coherent self-identity were important mechanisms of change; therapies had been extended to patients with BPD and posttraumatic stress disorder; and more research was needed to be directed at functional outcomes.

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Fig. 1

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Correspondence to Paul S. Links.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Personality Disorders

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Links, P.S., Shah, R. & Eynan, R. Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: Progress and Remaining Challenges. Curr Psychiatry Rep 19, 16 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-017-0766-x

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Keywords

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Psychotherapy
  • Trials
  • Mechanism of action
  • Comorbidity