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Borderline Personality Disorder Patient and Family Education Initiative

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The Borderline Personality Disorder Patient and Family Education Initiative launched in 2015 to provide interactive and on-demand resources to support individuals and families affected by borderline personality disorder (BPD). Led by Christopher M. Palmer, MD, director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education, the initiative was created thanks to philanthropic support.

Learn more about borderline personality disorder.

Our series of original, clinician-led webinars provides patients and families with an array of information specific to living with and helping someone with BPD. Our other resources, including in-depth information about BPD and access to referral information for treatment, further equip family members with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to support a loved one with BPD.

Upcoming Webinars

BPD Patient and Family Education live webinars are geared toward family members of loved ones with borderline personality disorder and are available free of charge. Advance registration is suggested.

“The Comorbidity of BPD and Substance Abuse”
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 5-6pm
Hosted by Igor Weinberg, PhD, Associate Psychologist, Adult Outpatient Services

Dr. Weinberg will discuss the overlap between borderline personality disorder and addiction.

Register


John G. Gunderson, MD“General Psychiatric Management (GPM) for the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder”
Thursday, January 25, 2018, 2-3pm
Hosted by John G. Gunderson, MD, Director, Personality and Psychosocial Research Program

General psychiatric management (GPM) is an empirically validated treatment approach developed by Dr. Gunderson, which has been demonstrated to equal dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in it’s effectiveness in treating individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Register


“You Want Me to Do What?! Making Use of Family Therapy in Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder”
Monday February 5, 2018 10-11am EST
Hosted by Katy V. Tarella, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker, McLean Hospital

This webinar will focus on the benefits, and the difficulties, of engaging in family therapy with a loved one who is in treatment for borderline personality disorder.

Register


Karen Jacob, PhD“Integrating Biofeedback as a Tool in Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder: Increasing Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation”
Thursday, February 15, 2018, 5-6pm
Hosted by Karen Jacob, PhD, Director of Clinical Services, Gunderson Residence

Dr. Jacob will discuss how biofeedback can be used as an effective tool for helping patients with BPD work on their tendency to avoid internal experiences and hence inadvertently perpetuate ongoing emotional and interpersonal problems which ultimately contribute to their difficulty in stabilizing. She will introduce the basic premise of biofeedback and how it can be used to bolster existing treatments as a tool to obstruct “escape” behaviors common to patients with BPD including cutting, drinking, restricting, and suicidal ideation or even gestures.

Register


Elsa Ronningstam, PhD“Narcissistic Personality Disorder”
Thursday, March 15, 2018, 5-6pm
Hosted by Elsa Ronningstam, PhD, Associate Psychologist, Adult Outpatient Services


James A. Jenkins, MD“DBT in a Nutshell”
Thursday, April 26, 2018, 5-6pm
Hosted by James A. Jenkins, MD, Medical Director, 3East Cambridge Residence


Lois W. Choi-Kain“Attachment”
Thursday, May 17, 2018, 5-6pm
Hosted by Lois W. Choi-Kain, MEd, MD, Medical and Program Director, Gunderson Residence


Archived Webinars

“Work Before Love: How Getting a Job Facilitates Recovery in Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Thursday, December 21, 2017
Hosted by Kathryn Donnelly Broge, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker, Gunderson Outpatient Program

Structure and vocational pursuits are often dreaded, feared, and avoided for individuals who are symptomatic with borderline personality disorder. With support from Dr. Mary Zanarini’s longitudinal research, this webinar looks at how getting back to work or working for the first time can directly impact recovery and facilitate remission.

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“Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”
Thursday December 7, 2017
Hosted by Nina Lewis-Schroeder, PhD, Staff Psychologist, Adult Outpatient Services & Amy Dierberger, PhD, Psychologist, Hill Center for Women

This webinar focuses on reviewing the overlap in the symptom presentation of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and discusses the use of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in the treatment of BPD and complex PTSD.

Watch now


“Suicide: Myths, Realities, and What We Can Do to Help”
Originally aired Thursday, November 9, 2017
Hosted by Mark A. Schechter, MD, North Shore Medical Center

In this webinar, Dr. Schechter debunks certain myths about suicide and focuses on how everyone has a role in suicide prevention.

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“Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss Borderline Personality Disorder with a Loved One”
Originally aired Thursday, October 19, 2017
Hosted by Maureen Smith, MSW, LICSW, Director of Family Services, Adult Outpatient Services

This webinar focuses on how to talk to a loved one about borderline personality disorder and how to engage them in treatment. Webinar participants were encouraged to ask questions and share any dilemmas they have faced in communicating with their loved one.

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Mary C. Zanarini, EdD“Psychoeducation as an Early Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Thursday, October 5, 2017
Hosted by Mary C. Zanarini, EdD, Director, Laboratory for the Study of Adult Development

BPDPSYCHOED, an internet-based treatment, was developed for two reasons. First, many patients with BPD are not told of their borderline diagnosis. Second, many of those who are informed of their borderline diagnosis are not given up-to-date information about BPD. This evidence-based treatment was developed to deal with both of these practices, which interfere with borderline patients being able to make informed decisions about their future. The ethical and clinical implications of this treatment are discussed.

Watch now


“An Open Discussion on Medication Approaches for Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Monday, September 25, 2017
Hosted by Brian A. Palmer, MD, MPH, Mayo Clinic

In a previous webinar, Dr. Palmer reviewed what is known about medications for borderline personality disorder, with an emphasis on how to avoid the many pitfalls in using medications for BPD. As part of our Open Discussion webinar series, Dr. Palmer answers questions from participants regarding medication approaches for BPD.

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“Deconstructing Stigma: Perspectives of Individuals Affected by Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Thursday, September 7, 2017
Our speakers are two individuals affected by borderline personality disorder

Our speakers share their experiences in joining the public campaign Deconstructing Stigma: A Change in Thought Can Change a Life. They discuss what led them to participate in the campaign, and the response they have received from family, friends, and strangers as a result of participating. Our speakers also share resources that have been helpful to them.

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“An Open Discussion with a Family Member on Borderline Personality Disorder and Improving Relationships”
Originally aired Monday, August 28, 2017
Our speaker is a family member of a loved one with borderline personality disorder

In a previous webinar, our speaker discussed strategies to improve the relationship with a loved one with borderline personality disorder. As part of our Open Discussion webinar series, our speaker answers questions from participants regarding challenges they have experienced.

Watch now


“Medication Approaches for Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Monday, August 14, 2017
Hosted by Brian A. Palmer, MD, MPH, Mayo Clinic

Dr. Palmer reviews what is known about medications for borderline personality disorder, with an emphasis on how to avoid the many pitfalls in using medications for BPD.

Watch now


“How Can I Recognize Borderline Personality Disorder?”
Originally aired Thursday, July 20, 2017
Hosted by Teresa Carreno, MD, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Dr. Carreno reviews three fundamental questions: how do I recognize borderline personality disorder in myself or in a loved one?, how can it be treated?, and how could I speak to a loved one about having borderline personality disorder and about its treatment? This webinar was conducted entirely in Spanish.

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“A Family Member’s Perspective on Borderline Personality Disorder and Improving Relationships”
Originally aired Monday, July 17, 2017
Our speaker is a family member of a loved one with borderline personality disorder

This webinar focuses on strategies for family members to improve the relationship with a loved one with borderline personality disorder. In addition to her own experiences, the speaker has been involved with over 150 other family members through various support groups and from leading Family ConnectionsTM groups for the past 4 years. She shares the coping and relationship skills that she has learned from Family ConnectionsTM and other resources.

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Gillian C. Galen, PsyD“An Open Discussion on Validation”
Originally aired Thursday, June 29, 2017
Hosted by Gillian C. Galen, PsyD, Program Director, 3East Girls Intensive and Step-Down Residential Programs

In a previous webinar, Dr. Galen discussed the critically important skill of validation. As part of our Open Discussion webinar series, in this webinar, Dr. Galen answers questions from participants about challenges that they have experienced when trying to use validation.

Watch now


“The Dialectics of Validation in DBT and in Families”
Originally aired Monday, June 12, 2017
Hosted by Domingo J. Marqués, PsyD, Universidad Albizu, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Dr. Marqués talks about the dialectics of validation in DBT and in families. This webinar is conducted entirely in Spanish.

Watch now


Lois W. Choi-Kain, MEd, MD“Compassion Fatigue”
Originally aired Thursday, May 25, 2017
Hosted by Lois W. Choi-Kain, MEd, MD, Medical and Program Director, Gunderson Residence

Compassion fatigue is a term that describes the way in which caregivers who are constantly giving are frequently at risk for mental instability and illness. Compassion fatigue symptoms are displays of chronic stress including isolation from others, poor self-care, excessive blaming, or substance abuse. Recognition that one may have compassion fatigue can lead to insights of past difficulty, greater self-care, and eventually healing and recovery. Both family members of and professionals working with individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) will benefit from recognition of this concept and tools to intervene in strengthening their status as supports to those with BPD.

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Kristin N. Javaras, DPhil, PhD“Eating Disorders, Overeating, and Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Thursday, April 13, 2017
Hosted by Kristin N. Javaras, DPhil, PhD, Assistant Psychologist, Division of Women’s Mental Health

Eating disorders are prevalent among adolescent and young adult women and are becoming increasingly common among middle-aged and older women, as well as boys and men. This talk describes eating disorders and their symptoms (e.g., restricted food intake, binge eating, vomiting, and compulsive exercise); explain why individuals with borderline personality disorder may be at higher risk for experiencing eating disorders; provides a brief overview of evidence-based treatments for eating disorders; and introduces resources for loved ones of individuals struggling with eating disorders.

Watch now


“How to Speak Borderline: A Live Demonstration”
Originally aired Thursday, March 30, 2017
Hosted by Karen Adler, MD, Assistant Psychiatrist, Gunderson Outpatient Program

A core symptom of borderline personality disorder is interpersonal hypersensitivity, which means conversations with loved ones often end in misunderstandings, conflict, and hurt feelings. In a previous webinar, Dr. Adler addressed the roots of hypersensitivity to perceived criticism and key roles of shame, fear, and anger in fueling heated conflicts between individuals. Strategies were taught on how to identify common triggers of these underlying emotions and use validation to reduce conflict and engage in problem solving. For this follow-up webinar, viewers submitted real-life dilemmas they have faced or will face in communicating with their loved one and we chose example scenarios to role play to demonstrate skills in action.

Watch now


“Introduction to DBT Skills Training”
Originally aired Thursday, March 30, 2017
Hosted by Elizabeth T. Murphy, PhD, Staff Psychologist, Adult Outpatient Services

Dr. Murphy provides participants with an overview of basic dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills.

Watch now


John G. Gunderson, MD“An Open Discussion on Coping with Challenging Situations”
Originally aired Thursday, March 9, 2017
Hosted by John G. Gunderson, MD, Director, Personality and Psychosocial Research Program

In a previous webinar, Dr. Gunderson discussed common situations that can be challenging for family members with a loved one with BPD and presented strategies for coping. As part of our Open Discussion webinar series, Dr. Gunderson answers questions from participants about challenging situations that they have experienced.

Watch now


Michael R. Hollander, PhD“An Open Discussion on Self-Injury in Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Thursday, February 2, 2017
Hosted by Michael R. Hollander, PhD, Director of Training, Senior Consultant, 3East

In a previous webinar, Dr. Hollander discussed self-injury and reviewed strategies for family members of individuals with borderline personality disorder. For this follow-up webinar, Dr. Hollander answers questions from participants about self-injury.

Watch now


Alan E. Fruzzetti, PhD“Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder in Boys and Young Men: An Underserved Population”
Originally aired Thursday, January 12, 2017
Hosted by Alan E. Fruzzetti, PhD, Program Director, 3East Boys Intensive Program; Director of Family Services, 3East Continuum

Although males constitute about half of the population of people with BPD, the vast majority go undiagnosed, and as a consequence, our mental health system fails to provide optimal treatment for them. In fact, evidence suggests that many males with BPD end up, often incorrectly, diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and often problematically shunted into the criminal justice system. Frequency and origins of the illness, along with sticky assessment issues are discussed, and recommendations for optimal treatment suggested.

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Rocco A. Iannucci, MD“Adding Fuel to the Fire: Borderline Personality Disorder and Substance Use Problems”
Originally aired Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Hosted by Rocco A. Iannucci, MD, Director, Fernside

Dr. Iannucci discusses the challenges of borderline personality disorder accompanied by substance use disorders. There is a focus on resources for individuals with substance use disorders and their family members. Treatment approaches to address both problems are also discussed.

Watch now


Brandon Unruh, MD“Mentalization and Trust: A New Understanding of Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Hosted by Brandon Unruh, MD, Assistant Medical Director, Gunderson Residence

Mentalization-based treatment (MBT) is one of the major three evidence-based treatments for borderline personality disorder (BPD). Recent elaboration of this model has indicated a new understanding of the core problem in BPD as impaired epistemic trust—that is, difficulty trusting sources of learning about the world, including one’s own mind and the minds of others. Dr. Unruh summarizes a mentalization approach to BPD built upon this new understanding of why people with BPD can be “hard to reach,” even by loved ones and expert clinicians.

Watch now


Gillian C. Galen, PsyD“Validation: Making Sense of the Emotional Turmoil in Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Thursday, October 13, 2016
Hosted by Gillian C. Galen, PsyD, Program Director, 3East Intensive and Step-Down Residential Programs

Dr. Galen reviews the critically important skill of validation. She discusses the ways in which you can either begin or continue to practice the skill of validation with those in your life, particularly those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

Watch now


Christopher M. Palmer, MD“An Open Discussion on Borderline Personality Disorder and Its Treatment”
Originally aired Thursday, September 29, 2016
Hosted by Christopher M. Palmer, MD, Director, Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education

In this open discussion forum, participants ask questions and engage in a discussion of borderline personality disorder and its treatments with Dr. Palmer. Those seeking information about BPD, any of its treatments, and at any stage of treatment will find this discussion of interest. This webinar is a follow up to “After All of This Treatment, Why Isn’t She/He Better? Common Causes of Treatment Resistance and Possible Solutions.”

Watch now


Christopher M. Palmer, MD“After All of This Treatment, Why Isn’t She/He Better? Common Causes of Treatment Resistance and Possible Solutions”
Originally aired Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Hosted by Christopher M. Palmer, MD, Director, Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education

Dr. Palmer discusses common reasons for treatment-resistant borderline personality disorder (i.e., symptoms not getting better after one or more years of treatment) and strategies that can be used to address these challenges/obstacles.

Watch now


“Strategies for Improving Communication and Decreasing Conflict”
Originally aired Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Hosted by Karen A. Adler, MD, Staff Psychiatrist, Adult Outpatient Services and Gunderson Outpatient Program

A core symptom of borderline personality disorder is interpersonal hypersensitivity, which means conversations with loved ones often end in misunderstandings, conflict, and hurt feelings. Over time, this pattern can lead to frequent arguments or withdrawal and non-communication. This webinar teaches family members how to understand their loved ones’ pattern of reactions and provide practical tools and strategies to communicate more effectively.

Watch now


George Smith, LICSW“Group Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Hosted by George Smith, LICSW, Gunderson Outpatient Program

Borderline personality disorder is characterized by problems with emotion regulation and interpersonal hyper-sensitivity. This webinar describes group therapy that helps participants address these vulnerabilities.

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Amy Gagliardi, MD“Borderline Personality Disorder and Comorbidity: Treatment for Individuals with More than One Diagnosis”
Originally aired Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Hosted by Amy Gagliardi, MD, Associate Medical Director, The Pavilion; Medical Director, Division of Women’s Mental Health

Dr. Gagliardi discusses borderline personality disorder and co-occurring diagnoses and review treatment strategies.

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Judith Mintz, PhD“Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents”
Originally aired Thursday, May 12, 2016
Hosted by Judith Mintz, PhD, 3East Intensive Program and Intensive Step-Down Program

Dr. Mintz discusses the symptoms that are frequently seen in adolescents who have emerging borderline personality disorder. She also discusses how this condition differs from more typical adolescent behaviors as well as other psychological disorders that are often diagnosed during adolescence.

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Joe B. Flores, MD“Family Involvement in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Thursday, April 28, 2016
Hosted by Joe B. Flores, MD, Medical Director, Gunderson Outpatient Program

Dr. Flores will discuss the role of the family in the treatment of borderline personality disorder. He will also discuss assessment of family needs. Webinar participants will be encouraged to ask questions.

Watch now


Michael R. Hollander, PhD“Understanding Self-Injury: What it is and How to be Helpful”
Originally aired Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Hosted by Michael R. Hollander, PhD, Director of Training, Senior Consultant, 3East

Dr. Hollander will discuss self-injury and review strategies for family members of individuals with borderline personality disorder. Webinar participants will be encouraged to ask questions.

Watch now


Mary C. Zanarini, EdD“The Long-Term Course of Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Hosted by Mary C. Zanarini, EdD, Director, Laboratory for the Study of Adult Development

This webinar covers the symptomatic outcome of BPD, which is the best of any of the major psychiatric illnesses (e.g., 99% attain at least a two-year remission of BPD over 16 years of prospective follow-up). It also covers areas with a more guarded outcome—difficulty working full-time and poor physical health—particularly for those who have not recovered from BPD.

Watch now


John G. Gunderson“Coping with Challenging Situations”
Originally aired Monday, January 4, 2016
Hosted by John G. Gunderson, MD, Director, Personality and Psychosocial Research Program

Dr. Gunderson discusses common situations that can be challenging for family members with a loved one with BPD and presents strategies for coping.

Watch now


“Family Struggles and Strategies to Address Common Challenges”
Originally aired Thursday, December 10, 2015
Hosted by Maureen Smith, MSW, LICSW, Director of Family Services, Adult Outpatient Services, Gunderson Outpatient Program

This webinar highlights common issues that family members have in dealing with a loved one with BPD and presents strategies for coping.

Watch now


Blaise Aguirre, MD“The Application of Mindfulness in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder”
Originally aired Thursday, November 19, 2015
Hosted by Blaise Aguirre, MD, Medical Director, 3East

Mindfulness is a core skill of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and involves increasing self-awareness by learning to focus on one’s experience of the present moment. Dr. Blaise Aguirre discusses the application of mindfulness in the treatment of BPD.

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Lois W. Choi-Kain, MEd, MD“Common Questions About Borderline Personality Disorder and What You Can Do To Help”
Originally aired Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Hosted by Lois W. Choi-Kain, MEd, MD, Medical and Program Director, Gunderson Residence

Dr. Lois Choi-Kain discusses some common questions that family members have regarding BPD including: What is BPD?, What treatments are available for BPD?, and What can family members do to help a loved one with BPD?

Watch now