Author: Elsa Marziali, Heather Monroe-Blum
How do you work with a patient who has intensely conflicted, unstable relationships with others and who seems to move from one full-blown crisis to the next? Therapists who treat such patients–usually diagnosed with borderline personality disorder–have found their efforts hampered not only by the nature of the disorder but also by problems in its classification and the lack of empirical data supporting particular treatment strategies. Now, in this innovative book, clinicians have an effective, standardized model of therapy that will limit the patient’s ability to derail the therapist’s efforts.
Built on the solid foundation of a six-year treatment comparison trial, the interpersonal group psychotherapy model fully detailed here focuses on the current relationships in the patient’s life. The research study showed that individual psychodynamic psychotherapy, which emphasizes the developmental genesis of the borderline disorder, leads down a much longer and more costly road–but with outcomes equivalent to the group model. By zeroing in on the affective significance of the patient’s lifelong search for more gratifying and secure relationships, the therapist can address a key feature of the disorder found in all its subtypes.
With group therapy, the therapist is able to dilute the powerful transference reactions commonly found in individual therapy with borderline patients. In interpersonal group therapy, the patient is also able to form new, positive identifications with others.
This guide, generously illustrated with extensive clinical examples, has been designed to be used in a broad range of treatment settings and employed by an extensive array of mental health professionals: psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and nurses.