Psychotherapy of borderline personality disorder

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2009 Nov;120(5):373-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01448.x.


Objective: Psychotherapy is considered the primary treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD). Currently, there are four comprehensive psychosocial treatments for BPD. Two of these treatments are considered psychodynamic in nature: mentalization-based treatment and transference-focused psychotherapy. The other two are considered to be cognitive-behavioral in nature: dialectical behavioral therapy and schema-focused therapy.

Method: A review of the relevant literature was conducted.

Results: Each of these lengthy and complex psychotherapies significantly reduces the severity of borderline psychopathology or at least some aspects of it, particularly physically self-destructive acts.

Conclusion: Comprehensive, long-term psychotherapy can be a useful form of treatment for those with BPD. However, less intensive and less costly forms of treatment need to be developed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Borderline Personality Disorder / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Humans
  • Psychotherapy*