For decades a pervasive therapeutic pessimism has surrounded attempts to work with clients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) with this population viewed as ‘too difficult' or ‘impossible to work with'. Treatments such as dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) for BPD have provided a basis for therapy for which there is increasing evidence of successful outcomes. Despite this, the pervasive pessimism has been slow to lift. While providing training and supervision for mental health professionals in rural New South Wales, Australia, the author noted anecdotal evidence that DBT may facilitate a positive change in clinician responses. This book explores the experience of mental health clinicians undertaking training in DBT and practicing as DBT therapists. Clinicians described an enhanced capacity for self-awareness and ‘living life to the full' that translates into a more optimistic and humanistic approach to people diagnosed with BPD. This book provides a challenge to prevailing mental health discourse and practice associated with BPD and will be of interest to clinicians, educators and those planning and managing mental health services.
Dr Rachel Rossiter, Hlth.Sc.D; has worked as a clinical nurse consultant in psychotherapy and is authorized as a nurse practitioner in mental health in NSW, Australia. Now employed as a project officer and mental health educator for the University of Newcastle and as a consultant providing clinical supervision to mental health clinicians.