, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 584–595 | Cite as

Impact of Mindfulness Training on Borderline Personality Disorder: A Randomized Trial

  • Matilde Elices
  • Juan C. Pascual
  • Maria J. Portella
  • Albert Feliu-Soler
  • Ana Martín-Blanco
  • Cristina Carmona
  • Joaquim Soler


Recent research suggests that deficits in the ability to be mindful may be related to core aspects of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Mindfulness plays a central role in BPD treatment, and evidence also indicates that mindfulness is the most commonly practiced of the skills taught in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). The present study investigated whether a 10-week mindfulness training program would improve BPD symptoms and mindfulness-related capacities in a sample of individuals diagnosed with BPD. A total of 64 participants (mean age = 31.64, SD = 6.9; 86 % female) were randomized to 10 weeks of mindfulness (n = 32) or interpersonal effectiveness skills training (control group; n = 32). BPD symptoms and mindfulness capacities were measured at pre- and post-intervention. Compared to the control group, participants assigned to mindfulness experienced a significantly greater reduction and increase, respectively, in BPD symptoms and decentering capacity. Treatment response rates (in reference to BPD symptoms) were higher for the mindfulness group (40 vs. 13 %). Interpersonal effectiveness alone did not result in improvements on any outcome measures. These findings suggest that mindfulness training may be a useful approach to decreasing BPD symptoms while simultaneously improving mindfulness capacities.


Borderline personality disorder Mindfulness Meditation Decentering 



We would like to thank all participants of the study. This study was supported by the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM) and by a grant from Facultad de Psicología (UdelaR) to the first author. This study was also funded by a grant from the ISCIII (PI13/00134) and co-financed with European Union ERDF funds. JS was supported by PROMOSAM: Investigación en procesos, mecanismos y tratamientos psicológicos para la promoción de la salud mental (Red de Excelencia PSI2014-56303-REDT) founded by Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (2014). MJP is funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación of the Spanish Government and by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III through a “Miguel Servet” research contract (CP10-00393), within the “Plan Estatal de I+D+I” 2013–2016, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matilde Elices
    • 1
    • 2
  • Juan C. Pascual
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria J. Portella
    • 1
  • Albert Feliu-Soler
    • 1
  • Ana Martín-Blanco
    • 1
  • Cristina Carmona
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joaquim Soler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Servei de Psiquiatria. Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM)Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica - Sant Pau (IIB-Sant Pau)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departament de Psiquiatria i Medicina LegalUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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