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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 168200 Find in a Library
Title: Working on the Borderline: Can We Continue to Turn a Blind Eye? (From A Practical Guide to Forensic Psychotherapy, P 223-227, 1997, Estela V Welldon and Cleo Van Velsen, eds. -- See NCJ-168168)
Author(s): F de Zulueta
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
London, N1 9JN, England
Sale Source: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
118 Pentonville Road
London, N1 9JN,
United Kingdom
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper discusses some modifications in traditional psychotherapy that should be implemented in working with persons diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder.
Abstract: Many papers have been written on the destructive potential of "borderline patients," which is often attributed to the manifestation of some innate aggressive drive. The trouble with such an approach is two-fold. On the one hand, it confirms these individuals' most deeply held belief in their inherent badness, which they believe to be the reason they were abused or unable to obtain the love they sought from their parents. On the other hand, recent evidence indicates that in feeling blame for their abuse, these survivors are also voicing what their abusers made them believe. It is increasingly difficult to justify an old- fashioned psychoanalytic approach with "borderline patients" in the face of new findings in the field of attachment and psychological trauma. Individuals with a history of such trauma describe how certain experiences keep plunging them back into states of terror and destructive rage over which they have little or no control. This often happens without their realizing at the time that it is occurring. These states can be triggered both out of therapy and within therapy, either through memories or through interactive experiences with the therapist or other group members. An understanding of how past memories that involve smells, sounds, behaviors, and feelings can act as triggers to past unresolved experiences of trauma and abuse can be helpful for both patients and therapists in making sense of what happens in and between sessions. Patients must be helped to understand that their behaviors and feelings in the present are not manifestations of some intrinsically evil nature (a belief that would reinforce their illness), but rather psychobiological manifestations of their wounded attachment system.
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Aggression; Case studies; Forensic psychiatry; Mental disorders; Psychiatric services; Psychotherapy; Treatment techniques
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