Training & Events


Effective Psychological Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder

An e-learning training program for mental health workers and service providers

Module 1 - What is effective care for BPD?

Module 2 - How to effectively engage people with BPD in treatment

Module 3 - How to reduce crises and incrase safety to promote recovery in people with BPD

Module 4 - Working actively with people with BPD and connecting with carers, partners & family

Module 5 - Successful BPD treatment: A survival guide for healthcare workers 

Module 1 - What is effective care for BPD?

This first module is about the importance of a structured approach in the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Clear diagnostic methods and a carefully considered intervention framework during service delivery is essential. There will be an integrative focus on delivering treatment according to the NHMRC Guidelines and the principles of good clinical care as outlined by Project Air, Spectrum, and others. Specific outlines and manuals for treatment will be introduced. Examples of less effective and more effective ways of developing treatment plans will be included, with specific recommendations and resources to plan and deliver effective evidence-based treatment.

Module 2 - How to effectively engage people with BPD in treatment

This module will orient healthcare workers to the core principles of engaging people with BPD in treatment. It is critical that people with BPD develop a healthy curiosity about their difficulties, and to recognise their own capacity to be active and make changes to promote their own rehabilitation. This marks a fundamental shift from and external to an internal locus of control. That is, a move from "blaming others" (and asking for others to "solve my problems"), to making efforts to "set goals" and "try new things to help me." This module will provide healthcare workers with specific strategies and approaches for helping people with BPD understand their disorder, recognise the way it is active in their lives, to use crisis survival skills, and to be active in their recovery, to attend treatment and to commence planning for "a life worth living."

Module 3 - How to reduce crises and increase safety to promote recovery in people with BPD

One of the key challenges in effective care is to reduce self-destructive behaviour and interpersonal conflicts, and to increase skilful and effective understanding of the self and others. This requires careful safety planning, skills to manage distress, and also work to improve the person's understanding of the connection between their feelings, thoughts and actions. Some people need work to assist them detoxify their self-critical beliefs and attitudes, others to heal or at least reduce the suffering they carry with them from past events. Having curiosity to understand both themselves and others in their current (and past) life increases their capacity to feel in control and to better predict future relationships. This module will provide workers with specific skills in undertaking all these activities in their work with people with BPD.

Module 4 - Working actively with people with BPD and connecting with carers, partners and family

Compassionate care for people with BPD needs to work sensitively not only with the person suffering from the disorder, but also needs active engagement with families, partners and carers. This module will develop skills in the worker to be active, compassionate and validating, not only within the individual or group counselling setting, but also to use these skills to engage and help others. This module will include skills in connecting with carers and others to deliver psychoeducation about the disorder and to promote positive and effective responses to people with BPD.

Module 5 - Successful BPD treatment: A survival guide for healthcare workers

All evidence based treatment for BPD include specific, structured peer consultation and support for the individual clinician. This module will include specific skills in both receiving clinical supervision and support, but also how to deliver this to others in the treatment team. The importance of effective communication among team members, and ways to review clinical care that keeps the treatment team motivated and enthusiastic will be emphasised. The concept of countertransference and effective management strategies will also be introduced.


The BPD Foundation acknowledges the Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders as the authors of this e-learning program.

Development team: Kayla Steele, Dr. Ely Marceau, Dr. Michelle Townsend & Prof. Brin F.S. Grenyer


The BPD Foundation acknowledges the National Mental Health Commission for supporting this National BPD Training Strategy


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Last reviewed: 30 October, 2018

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