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Borderline Personal Disord Emot Dysregul. 2020 Mar 12;7:6. doi: 10.1186/s40479-020-0121-4. eCollection 2020.

Designing a range of mentalizing interventions for young people using a clinical staging approach to borderline pathology.

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1Viersprong Institute for Studies on Personality Disorders, Halsteren, the Netherlands.
Centre of Expertise on Personality Disorders, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
3Developmental Clinical Psychology Research Unit, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
4Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, London, UK.
5Department of Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, Texas USA.
6University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) can have a long-lasting impact on social and professional functioning, even when core symptoms of BPD are in remission. Adolescence may be a critical developmental period to change the potential long-term functional outcome of BPD. This paper presents a range of mentalizing interventions to alter the course and outcome of BPD, based upon a model of clinical staging. Mentalizing interventions have in common a focus on strengthening self-regulatory and interpersonal capacities, aiming to improve adaptive social learning. This paper argues that these interventions should be dosed and organized according to the stage of progression of BPD, which is illustrated by discussing different specific formats for mentalization-based interventions, including an early-intervention program for BPD and a standard program for full BPD.


Borderline personality disorder; Clinical staging; Early intervention; Mentalization-based treatment

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