Splitting in People with BPD

A client told me that splitting allows her to divide people and the world into good and bad, making them easier to understand.

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What Splitting Is

“No one has ever understood me the way you do. Past therapists have just sat there, taken my money, and basically fallen asleep while I’m talking. You’re the only one who has ever listened to me at all.”

Many therapists have heard this before. People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) may have a hard time seeing gray areas and, as a result, resort to a defense mechanism known as splitting. Splitting can also be identified when a person with BPD interprets people, thoughts, emotions, and situations as black or white, all or nothing, wonderful or evil. Continue reading “Splitting in People with BPD”

Therapists Use Skills,Too

We use mindfulness throughout the day, especially to help us recognize if we’re being judgmental, and turning that instead into loving-kindness (we try to be good friends and parents, even if the ones we love drive us bananas!).

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DBT therapists constantly advise clients to USE SKILLS—I’m sure sometimes to the point of sounding like a broken record. Of course we do this because DBT is an evidence-based treatment that combines individual therapy with phone coaching and skills training groups to help people recognize and regulate their emotions, improve interpersonal relationships, and tolerate stressful situations. But really, DBT therapists recommend using skills because we use them ourselves—and they work!

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Choosing A Therapist

Our therapists all use evidence-based approaches. This means what we do in therapy is based on extensive research showing the approach achieves its goals with most individuals.

Not feeling too well todayFinding the “right” therapist to help you achieve your therapy goals can be tough. You deserve a therapist who fits your needs, someone competent with whom you feel comfortable.

If you’re reading this blog, you likely have an interest in St. Louis DBT, LLC. We’re glad you are here and hope you will take time to read our blogs and study our website. After you’ve gotten to know us a bit, we offer a free telephone consultation. We encourage you to make the most of it. The information below will help you use your time wisely.

Continue reading “Choosing A Therapist”

Faulty Thinking

To be sure, she had been through a lot of pain in her life. At the same time, however, she suffered more because of the irrational “lessons” she had learned from the pain.

Clients with borderline personality disorder often assume the worst. No one is ever trustworthy.  If the kids go on a canoe trip, they are going to drown.  If a stranger strikes up a conversation in the grocery store, she just knows the person has an agenda and it isn’t good.   If a supervisor says something about her work, she knows she is going to get fired any minute.  There always has to be someone else to blame.   Nothing happens by accident; someone has to have caused her suffering.   At the same time, she constantly criticizes herself.  She never measures up to her own expectations.  The rare times she notices something good in her life, she quickly dismisseds it, telling herself it couldn’t be true or surely it wouldn’t last.  She is isolated and miserable.

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Graduating Therapy

When people identify what’s not working for them and change the underlying behaviors, their lives get better. When their lives get better, their thinking about the past and future changes. The future looks brighter and the past is just that, past.

 

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It is always a bittersweet moment when a client “graduates.”  I am happy to see their hard work pay off yet sad to see them go.  But, of course, the goal of therapy is healing and that means letting go when the time comes.

From the first session, my goal is to help clients heal to the point of graduation. Some people come at a turning point and want a course correction; others want a major overhaul.  Their lives are out of control and they are feeling hopelessly caught in a downward spiral.

Continue reading “Graduating Therapy”