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Sante Ment Que. 2010 Autumn;35(2):61-85.

[Stalemates and opportunities in the treatment of borderline personality disorder].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Psychologue, Télé-Université-UQAM, Psychologie et santé mentale.


Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental health problem for which one of its main characteristics is significant difficulties in relationships with others. These relational problems have the unfortunate consequence of fostering negative attitudes among mental health professionals and contributing to the stigmatization of people suffering from this disorder. In this article, the author emphasizes the importance of taking into account the parameter of the therapeutic frame within which the feeling of facing a stalemate in the treatment of borderline personality disorder patients occurs. Six general strategies are presented that enable the therapist to limit or hinder the risk of stalemate in treatment. This article then presents the commonalities between treatments teams that tend to feel comfortable and efficacious in their management of borderline personality disorder patients. Finally, a case history is used to illustrate how some stalemates can in fact be seen as opportunities for growth for both the patient and the therapist. In order to avoid the vicious circle of negative interactions with patients already hypersensitive to inconsistencies and rejection, the author concludes by insisting on the necessity that more mental health professional have access to training programs and workshops specifically addressing how to better manage and treat people with BPD.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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