V602 Rethinking Borderline Personality Disorder

A Traumatic Attachment Disorder

Regardless of how it might seem, clients aren’t really at war with their therapists; they’re caught up in a trauma-related internal battle, asking themselves questions about whether to trust or not trust, live or die, and love or hate. A trauma perspective opens up new ways of working with clients with BPD, helping us understand their challenging behaviors as consequences of being traumatized and fragmented. It transforms the therapeutic relationship and the treatment. In this workshop, you’ll explore the value of reinterpreting borderline personality as an attachment disorder and learn how to help clients with BPD focus on their internal battles, positioning yourself as an ally. You’ll explore how to:

  • Strengthen alliances with clients with BPD and navigate their fears of closeness and distance
  • Understand how fragmentation or “splitting” creates internal conflicts and fuels crisis
  • Help BPD clients resolve internal struggles with easily implemented body-centered and parts-centered interventions

Janina Fisher, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, assistant educational director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former instructor at Harvard Medical School. She’s coauthor with Pat Ogden of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Attachment and Trauma and author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors and Transforming the Living Legacy of Trauma.


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January 12, 2022
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