Mclean Hospital

Video: Tailoring Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

Available with English captions.

The Alfred Stanton Lecture

Shelley McMain, PhD, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe and debilitating disorder further complicated by considerable variety within the BPD population.

Although research supports the benefits of several evidence-based treatments for BPD, best practice recommendations about effective treatments are largely based on findings from randomized controlled trials that report average treatment effect sizes.

Average treatment effects inevitably over- or under-estimate the impact of treatment on a given individual and do not allow for how this population may be variably responding to treatment. Treatment potency, including elements and dose, can be tailored to patients based on individual characteristics and ability to respond in order to increase the probability of success.

About This Presentation

This lecture reviews evidence from diverse research methodologies that contribute to our understanding of how to personalize therapy and optimize treatment outcomes for individuals diagnosed with BPD. McMain reviews evidence related to four levels through which treatment decisions can be assessed:

  • Selecting therapy models based on diagnosis
  • Treatment context
  • Relationship
  • Specific interventions

Implications for research and clinical practice are also discussed.

October 8, 2020

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