Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment
How do we Approach Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder?
Successful borderline personality disorder treatment is frequently complicated by a woman's struggle to release her feelings of self-hatred and anger. Her rejection of attempts to help her often pushes friends and family away, and can stand in the way of connecting with professionals who attempt to treat her personality disorder. This problem is particularly acute if she is also experiencing symptoms of addiction, an eating disorder, or other co-occurring disorders.
Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center recognizes the special needs of women and girls seeking treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD) and other psychiatric disorders. Our mood disorder treatment staff understands that without an understanding of personality disorders and individual attention to her emotional needs, treatment efforts may actually increase a woman's emotional volatility.
Our treatment approach combines dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) with recovery principles into an integrated, holistic treatment program uniquely tailored to treating borderline personality disorder. Dialectic behavioral therapy is a form of integrated treatment combining behavioral, cognitive, and supportive therapies. Developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, DBT emphasizes teaching each woman how to experience her emotions and create a life worth living. DBT works to replace an "either/or" perspective (e.g. either experience emotional chaos, or attempt to manage it through a destructive behavior) with a perspective that allows the resident to develop a "both/and" approach to life.
We Focus on the Underlying Emotional Experience of Borderline Personality Disorder
Supported by leading personality disorder treatment experts, each resident suffering with BPD will explore ways to become more mindful of her feelings. Our personality disorder treatment program addresses the each woman as a whole person:
- Social relationships
Each resident also receives coaching and reinforcement in key areas of interpersonal skills, distress tolerance and management, reality acceptance skills, and emotional regulation skills.
One of the benefits of personality disorder treatment at a holistic residential treatment center like Timberline Knolls is that a woman will realize she is not alone, either in experiencing emotional swings, identity issues, or in addressing other co-occurring eating disorders or addictions. We understand the importance of creating an environment where women feel safe expressing their feelings and talking about their symptoms without being judged for what they share. A woman with borderline personality disorder will learn from staff and other residents who understand her struggle to make constructive choices when her emotions feel overwhelming.
How Do Treatment Plans Address Borderline Personality Disorder and Co-Occurring Addictions?
Treatment planning for borderline personality disorder, like other addictive behaviors, eating disorders, and psychiatric conditions, considers all accumulated knowledge about a resident. We leverage the experience of our entire personality disorders and addiction treatment staff to customize her care. This collaborative approach is one of the distinguishing elements of treatment for personality disorders, eating disorders and other addictive behaviors at a leading rehab facility like Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center.
Consideration of each woman's treatment needs begins during the admissions process. Both the woman and her family provide background about her challenges, symptoms and past behavior patterns. After obtaining consent, we speak to her prior treatment providers to gather additional information about her medical history, personality disorder treatment progress and stumbling blocks to achieving or maintaining recovery from other addictions or eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia.
In the case of school age women, we coordinate closely with her school to understand the roadblocks her personality disorder may have created. We do this to support her in to progressing towards graduation during residential treatment.
Once she is admitted, each resident undergoes a comprehensive assessment by one of our psychiatrists. She is then assigned a treatment team with three core members, whom she will meet in the coming days:
- A Primary Therapist
- A Family Therapist
- A Psychiatrist
A woman who exhibits symptoms of an unaddressed mood disorder or other co-occurring psychiatric disorders may undergo additional testing to confirm that her residential treatment program is comprehensive. Each treatment team member also completes a thorough written assessment within the woman's first days at Timberline Knolls. The findings from these assessments are shared with our entire clinical and medical staff, who agree on the components of treatment.
The primary therapist will discuss treatment recommendations with the woman, who will have input into the goals for her treatment and will choose several elective elements of her program. Each school-age resident will also have input on her academic coursework. She will be asked to sign off on her treatment objectives and the ongoing progression of her treatment plan, giving her input and ownership of her recovery from the outset.
The treatment team will meet weekly throughout the resident's stay, and members consult each other informally as often as needed to remain abreast of her progress. If new symptoms appear, a resident may undergo additional psychological testing to assure that her personality disorder treatment considers all relevant aspects of her mental health.
Additionally, women with medical symptoms or complications from anorexia, bulimia or substance abuse may be referred to consulting healthcare providers such as a cardiologist, gynecologist, dentist or nephrologist.
What Will You Experience At Our Treatment Center?
A woman's experience at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center may differ dramatically from other personality disorder treatment programs, drug rehab facilities or eating disorder treatment centers she has attended in the past. That is by design.
Comprehensive, Integrated Treatment and Recovery
Every woman recovering from personality disorders, anorexia, bulimia and addictive disorders must develop tools she can trust to live in recovery when she experiences symptoms or feels the desire to act destructively. We work with our residents to help them identify the conscious choices they are making throughout their day, especially those choices they make when they experience unexplained feelings of self-loathing. Our supportive team offers ongoing support as women learn to use new tools in situations where they would have previously made decisions that led to self-destruction. As they gain confidence in their ability to make positive, healthy choices, women experience improved self-esteem, body acceptance, reduced stress and anxiety, healing of trauma, and increased self-awareness.
Our comprehensive and individualized treatment plans use approaches proven to help women learn to manage their emotions and develop the tools to recover from personality disorders. Specific examples include:
- one-on-one therapy sessions
- expressive and recreational therapy
- education about disease processes and recovery
- group sessions to teach and practice behavior modification and emotion management
- family therapy (including family participation, if appropriate)
- twelve-step facilitation, including onsite and offsite meetings of Emotions Anonymous and Self-Mutilators Anonymous, Al-anon, AA, OA
- weekly psychiatric consultation
- trauma awareness and recovery
- educational services for school-age women
Expressive Therapy Provides a Productive Outlet for Complex Emotions
Expressive therapy has been clinically proven to promote healing and recovery, in addition to providing a needed creative outlet for women during their treatment and beyond. For women who may have suffered setbacks in their schooling or career because of unaddressed borderline personality symptoms, expressive therapy may be especially healing.
Our expressive therapy program includes a variety of outlets a woman can choose based on her personal interests:
- art therapy in a historical art studio that supports painting, sculpture and other medias
- equine assisted psychotherapy
- dance/movement therapy
- empowerment group (experiential trauma recovery)
- self-defense in our on-site fitness facility
- outdoor recreation such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, badminton or gardening on our 43 acre campus
Why Do We Focus on Co-Existing Conditions With Borderline Personality Disorder?
When treating women and girls for mood disorders, eating disorders, or other addictive disorders, our specialized treatment team at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center never assumes we are treating an isolated disease. Frequently, co-occurring drug addiction, alcoholism, anorexia nervosa or bulimia develops from attempts by a woman to either:
- Reduce feelings of self-hatred, shame, or anxiety worsened by psychiatric conditions that we refer to as co-occurring disorders; or,
- Control intense emotions related to unresolved traumatic experiences in her past.
Women suffering from borderline personality disorder and a co-occurring eating disorder or chemical dependency face unique challenges that require specialized treatment and support in recovery. For these women, the holistic, integrated treatment approach at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center can inspire a new hope for recovery from a personality disorder and confidence in a bright future.
Co-occurring disorders are recognized frequently in women with personality disorders, but not always addressed appropriately by medical and behavioral health professionals who are primarily concerned with addressing other disorders. Medical researchers have found that a large percentage of those who have an addiction or chemical dependency also have at least one other mental illness and/or personality disorder. Co-occurring disorders describe a situation where an addictive disorder persists along with at least one other psychiatric illness that is active and negatively impacts the recovery process. Women with co-occurring disorders tend to have more severe symptoms of each illness and higher potential for relapse.
Examples of other psychiatric conditions frequently co-exist with substance abuse, eating disorders, and other addictions are:
- bipolar disorder
- panic disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- various phobias and compulsions
For patients with co-occurring disorders, attempts to treat only the personality disorder, substance abuse, or eating disorder in isolation is at best incomplete, and at worst counterproductive. Life-long recovery requires an understanding of each disease and the complex interactions between them all.
What Should Parents or Friends Say If They Are Concerned?
Call Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center today to learn more about how our mood disorder treatment specialists may help you or your loved one overcome borderline personality disorder, anorexia, bulimia, or other co-occurring disorders. We accept women and girls (ages 12 and up) for admission seven days a week.