Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) often co-occurs with substance abuse and addiction. If you enter dual diagnosis treatment for BPD and substance abuse, you will undergo a variety of therapies. But what will work to treat your substance abuse won’t necessarily be the best method of treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder.
Below are some of the treatment modalities that are most effective for BPD treatment. When you are looking for a dual diagnosis treatment center for both your BPD and substance abuse, be sure to find one that offers at least one of these modalities.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy for BPD Treatment
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan specifically for Borderline Personality Disorder treatment. DBT is based on a biosocial theory, which posits that BPD occurs when certain biological predispositions meet with a dysfunctional or invalidating environment.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy helps a person with BPD learn how to recognize and manage their emotional trauma, as well as develop skills for better emotion regulation. DBT involves both individual and group therapy sessions where patients learn mindfulness techniques, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy has emerged as the most successful and enduring treatment modality for people diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. It is also becoming an increasingly beneficial treatment for people diagnosed with both BPD and a substance abuse disorder.
Mentalization-Based Therapy for BPD Treatment
Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT) is also an effective Borderline Personality Disorder treatment. MBT aims to enable the ability of people with BPD to improve their mentalizing skills.
Mentalization is a psychodynamic approach that helps people with Borderline Personality Disorder to analyze their thoughts and determine how they are different from others. MBT involves individual and group therapy sessions. The therapist helps the patient delve into their past and present relationships, develop more fulfilling and balanced relationships, and work toward personal goals by helping them become more attuned to their own emotions, thoughts, and needs.
Mentalization-Based Therapy is not a stand-alone treatment, and is usually offered alongside other therapies.
Transference-Focused Psychotherapy for BPD Treatment
Transference-Focused Psychotherapy is a psychodynamic therapy that can help people struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder to improve their relationships.
Transference is the process by which emotions are transferred from one person to another. During sessions, a therapist will actually experience problems with their patients and help them to focus on the moment at hand instead of the past.
The goal of Transference-Focused Psychotherapy is to help people with BPD create a more stable and realistic sense of self while helping them improve their life skills and interpersonal relationships.
Schema-Focused Therapy for BPD Treatment
Schema-Focused Therapy is a type of psychotherapy which borrows some of its techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Schemas are deeply edged patterns of thinking that people use to define their own selves and the world around them. Schema-Focused Therapy is based on the idea that when people are deprived of their basic childhood needs (like the needs for love, acceptance, and security), they form maladaptive early schemas – unhealthy ways to interpret and interact with their surroundings.
Using Schema-Focused Therapy, a therapist and patient will work together to confront emotional trauma. This type of therapy has been shown to help people with Borderline Personality Disorder live more stable lives and make deep personality changes.
Treatment for BPD and Substance Abuse
In addition to the above BPD treatment modalities, a dual diagnosis treatment center may also offer such therapies as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, yoga therapy, art therapy, and mindfulness. If you are seeking treatment for both BPD and substance abuse, be sure the dual diagnosis treatment center you enroll in offers at least one of the above therapies so that your BPD gets properly treated.
Keep in mind that not all treatments will be effective for everyone, so consult with your psychiatrist or therapist to figure out which form of BPD treatment would be best for you. Sometimes you will need to participate in more than one type of treatment, especially if you are also receiving substance abuse treatment.