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Borderline Aid: Psychotherapy soothes personality ailment

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12:39pm, June 13, 2007

Borderline personality disorder, a psychiatric condition marked by volatile relationships and stormy emotions, has the reputation of being tough to treat. A new study, however, indicates that any of three types of psychotherapy stimulates substantial improvement in people with this disorder.

Psychotherapy that centers on emotional themes arising in the interaction between patient and therapist, known as transference-focused therapy, stimulates the most change in people with borderline personality disorder, according to a team led by psychologist John F. Clarkin of New York Hospital–Cornell Medical Center in White Plains, N.Y.

Dialectical behavior therapy, a currently popular brand of psychotherapy that teaches patients how to control and alter their emotional reactions, also produced good responses, as did supportive psychotherapy that provides basic advice on dealing with daily challenges.

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