Mental Health Professionals

With approximately 2% of people living with borderline personality disorder, there is a definite gap between the need for specialist care of complex disorders and the availability of mental health professionals who are able to provide that care. The increase in recent years of BPD research has led to more diagnoses than ever, and new treatment options,  which has proven that BPD is a treatable disorder with the right combination of suitable medications and therapy.

Most academic psychiatry and psychology departmens have little to no clinical training in borderline personality disorder. This, combined with a long-standing and persistent stigma as to the difficulty of treating bpd patients, has led to this gap in suitable care.

BPD patients often present with complex care needs, and there are some professionals who are unwilling to treat such patients, unless they are accompanied by co-morbid conditions which are straightforward to treat ushc as depressiopn, anxiety, ADHD, etc.

There are increasing opportunities for mental health professionals to develop their clinical skills in this area, with a dramatic increase in recent years of training courses, qualifications, books and research papers.

Ways to Enhance the Treatment of your Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder

  1. Learn more about the condition. This website is an ideal introduction to BPD and how it affects patients. There are countless books and websites which go into more depth about the condition. We recommend beginning with the DBT Skills Training Manual by Marsha Linehan, available on Amazon and other bookstores.
  2. Once you have a core professional qualification (such as a degree in clinical psychology), you can apply for DBT intensive training to become a qualified DBT therapist. Find out more at British Isles DBT Training.
  3. Speak with experienced colleagues, build a small network to share best practive and learn from each other. If you are working in psychiatry, especially focus on the use of mediations and the diagnostic issues, inform yourself of main methods of intervention, diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Learn about the different treatment methods available, how they work and how they are applied to people living with BPD.
  5. Remember that BPD is not just limited to the patient, but also affects their loved ones, families, friends and colleagues. Including critical family members or partners in the diagnostic and treatment processes are a crucial part of developing a solid support network for the patient.
  6. Undertake our free Peer Support Training, which offers treatment from the viewpoint of peers rather than professionals, but can help you gain insight into what the patient needs from their treatment at its most basic.
  7. Ensure you are up to date on diagnostic criteria and definitions of the disorder (currently ICD-10), as this can change. Current information (as of this page being written in June 2022) can be found here:
  8. Ensure you are up to date with the NICE treatment guidelines, which offer guidance  on the diagnosis and treatment of people with borderline personality disorder. More can be found on our website, or for the most up to date guidlines visit the NICE website.