Books and Publications
Books on Borderline Personality Disorder
Where possible, links to amazon.ca have been provided.
The ABC’s of BPD: The Basics of Borderline Personality Disorder for Beginners | Randi Kreger and Erik Gunn. 2007. [Not available at Amazon.ca]
Beyond Borderline: True Stories of Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder | This provocative book uncovers the truth about a misunderstood and stigmatized disorder, and offers an opportunity for a deeper, more empathetic understanding of BPD from the real experts-the individuals living with it. | Hoffman, P. D. and J. G. Gunderson, 2016. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger
Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents: A Complete Guide to Understanding and Coping When Your Adolescent Has BPD | This book offers parents, caregivers, and adolescents themselves a complete understanding of this complex and tough-to-treat disorder. It thoroughly explains what it is and what a patient’s treatment options are. | Aguirre, B., 2007. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press.
The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living with BPD | This book provides answers to many of the questions you might have about BPD: What is BPD? How long does it last? What other problems co-occur with BPD? Overviews of what we currently know about BPD make up the first section of the book. Later chapters cover several common treatment approaches to BPD: DBT, mentalization-based treatment (MBT), and medication treatments. In the last sections of the book, you’ll learn a range of useful coping skills that can help you manage your emotions, deal with suicidal thoughts, and cope with some of the most distressing symptoms of BPD. | Chapman, A. L., and K. L. Gratz. 2007. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Borderline Personality Disorder for Dummies | Looking for straightforward information on Borderline Personality Disorder? This easy-to-understand guide helps those who have BPD develop strategies for breaking the destructive cycle. This book also aids loved ones in accepting the disorder and offering support. Inside you’ll find authoritative details on the causes of BPD and proven treatments, as well as advice on working with therapists, managing symptoms, and enjoying a full life. | Elliott, C. H., and L. L. Smith. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley Publishing Inc.
Freeman, Arthur, Mark H. Stone, and Donna Martin, editors, 2005. Borderline Personality Disorder: A Practitioner’s Guide to Comparative Treatments. New York: Springer Publishing Company. [Not available at Amazon.ca]
Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Living with BPD | In Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified, Dr. Robert Friedel, a leading expert in BPD and a pioneer in its treatment, has turned his vast personal experience into a useful and supportive guide for everyone living with and seeking to understand this condition. | Friedel, R.O., 2004. New York: Marlowe & Company.
The High-Conflict Couple adapts the powerful techniques of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) into skills you can use to tame out-of-control emotions that flare up in your relationship. Using mindfulness and distress tolerance techniques, you’ll learn how to deescalate angry situations before they have a chance to explode into destructive fights. Other approaches will help you disclose your fears, longings, and other vulnerabilities to your partner and validate his or her experiences in return. You’ll discover ways to manage problems with negotiation, not conflict, and to find true acceptance and closeness with the person you love the most. | Fruzetti, A. 2006. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Understanding and Treating Borderline Personality Disorder: A Guide for Professionals and Families | Gunderson, J.G., and P. D. Hoffman. 2005. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press, Inc. [Not available at Amazon.ca]
Borderline Personality Disorder: A Clinical Guide | Gunderson, J. G., with P. S. Links. 2008. 2nd Edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. [Not available at Amazon.ca]
Borderline Personality Disorder: Meeting the Challenges to Successful Treatment provides social workers and other mental health clinicians with practical access to the knowledge necessary for effective treatment in a single volume of the most current research, information, and management considerations. This important collection explores the latest methods and approaches to treating BPD patients and supporting their families. This useful text also features handy worksheets and numerous tables that present pertinent information clearly. | Hoffman, P. D., and P. Steiner-Grossman. 2008. Philadelphia, PA: Haworth Press.
Borderline Personality Disorder: The Facts | This candid book collaboratively co-authored by a person recovered from BPD and a BPD specialist therapist is written specifically for people with BPD (with support teams, including family, friends and clinicians also likely to benefit from reading the book). | Krawitz, R., and W. Jackson. 2008. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
With The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells, Kreger takes readers to the next level by offering them five straightforward tools to organize their thinking, learn specific skills, and focus on what they need to do to get off the emotional rollercoaster: Take care of yourself, Uncover what keeps you feeling stuck, Communicate to be heard, Set limits with love, and Reinforce the right behaviors. | Kreger, R. 2009. Center City, MN: Hazelden.
From Rollercoaster to Recovery, A practical guide for families and individuals navigating the addictions and mental health system in Champlain. This book is written by people in Eastern Ontario and is available online, free of charge.
Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder | If you’re struggling in a tumultuous relationship with someone with BPD, this is the book for you. Dr. Shari Manning helps you understand why your spouse, family member, or friend has such out-of-control emotions—and how to change the way you can respond. Learn to use simple yet powerful strategies that can defuse crises, establish better boundaries, and radically transform your relationship. Empathic, hopeful, and science based, this is the first book for family and friends grounded in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), the most effective treatment for BPD. | Manning, Shari Y., 2011. New York: Guilford Press.
Stop Walking on Eggshells has already helped nearly half a million people with friends and family members suffering from BPD understand this destructive disorder, set boundaries, and help their loved ones stop relying on dangerous BPD behaviors. This fully revised edition has been updated with the very latest BPD research and includes coping and communication skills you can use to stabilize your relationship with the BPD sufferer in your life. | Mason, P. T., and R. Kreger. 1998. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger. Paris, J. 2008.
Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder: A Guide to Evidence-Based Practice | Organizing a vast body of scientific literature, this indispensable book presents the state of the art in understanding borderline personality disorder (BPD) and distills key treatment principles that therapists need to know. | Paris, J. 2008. New York: Guilford Press.
Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change is a compassionate and informative guide to understanding this profoundly unsettling–and widely misunderstood–mental illness, believed to affect approximately 6% of the general population. | Porr, V. 2010. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Surviving a Borderline Parent | If you were raised by a BPD parent, your childhood was a volatile and painful time. This book, the first written specifically for children of borderline parents, offers step-by-step guidance to understanding and overcoming the lasting effects of being raised by a person suffering from this disorder. Discover specific coping strategies for dealing with issues common to children of borderline parents: low self-esteem, lack of trust, guilt, and hypersensitivity. | Roth, K., and F. B. Friedman. 2003. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
The Weather House This illustrated book for school-aged children provides, through its touching story, clinically sound and age-appropriate information for children, giving them clear answers to frequently asked questions about the borderline personality disorder of a parent, and suggesting ways to cope with the situation. Through weather pattern analogies, the book describes 2 days in the chaotic life of David and Mary. Psychoeducational comments are provided throughout the book by a “weather wiz” who explains, in a simple manner, to both the characters and readers, the mother’s sometimes strange behaviors that can be challenging to comprehend. The wonderful illustrations help with the understanding, and lighten the story with humor. This book will help teach children take a certain distance, to better understand what is happening at home and how not to feel responsible for their parents’ stormy moments.
When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness: A Handbook for Family, Friends, and Caregivers | An essential resource–featuring 50 proven Quick Reference guides–for the millions of parents, siblings, and friends of people with mental illness, as well as professionals in the field. | Woolis, R. 1992. New York: Tarcher Putnam.
Books on Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder | This volume is the authoritative presentation of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Linehan’s comprehensive, integrated approach to treating individuals with borderline personality disorder. DBT–which has since been adapted for other difficult-to-treat disorders involving emotion dysregulation–combines cognitive and behavioral strategies with elements of psychodynamic, strategic, and other modalities. Delineated are specific strategies for contingency management, exposure, cognitive modification, and skills training. | Linehan, M. M. 1993. New York: Guilford.
Doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy: A Practical Guide | Koerner, K. 2012. New York: Guilford. Filled with vivid clinical vignettes and step-by-step descriptions, this book demonstrates the nuts and bolts of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT is expressly designed for--and shown to be effective with--clients with serious, multiple problems and a history of treatment failure. The book provides an accessible introduction to DBT while enabling therapists of any orientation to integrate elements of this evidence-based approach into their work with emotionally dysregulated clients.
Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder | This book is a step-by-step guide to teaching clients four sets of skills: interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and mindfulness. A vital component in Dr. Linehan’s comprehensive treatment program, the manual details precisely how to implement DBT behavioral skills training procedures. It provides everything the clinician needs to implement the program in skills training groups or with individual clients. Included are lecture notes, discussion questions, exercises, and practical advice on dealing with frequently encountered problems. In a large-size format with lay-flat binding for easy photocopying, the book features over three dozen reproducible client handouts and homework sheets. | Linehan, M. M. 1993. New York: Guilford.
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance offers straightforward, step-by-step exercises for learning these concepts and putting them to work for real and lasting change. Start by working on the introductory exercises and, after making progress, move on to the advanced-skills chapters. Whether you are a professional or a general reader, whether you use this book to support work done in therapy or as the basis for self-help, you’ll benefit from this clear and practical guide to better managing your emotions. | McKay, M., J. C. Wood, and J. Brantley. 2007. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life: How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Put You in Control | When we are regularly undone by our emotions, we become victims of damaged relationships, trapped circumstances, self-sabotage, and illness. Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life offers help to all of us who want to gain the upper hand on our feelings and our lives. Even high reactors, people disposed to experiencing strong, even overwhelming emotions on a regular basis, will find its strategies easy to use and effective at managing frequent emotional flare-ups. | Spradlin, S. E. 2003. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
The Buddha and the Borderline is a window into this mysterious and debilitating condition, an unblinking portrayal of one woman’s fight against the emotional devastation of borderline personality disorder. This haunting, intimate memoir chronicles both the devastating period that led to Kiera’s eventual diagnosis and her inspirational recovery through therapy, Buddhist spirituality, and a few online dates gone wrong. Kiera’s story sheds light on the private struggle to transform suffering into compassion for herself and others, and is essential reading for all seeking to understand what it truly means to recover and reclaim the desire to live. | Van Gelder, K. 2010. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Remnants of a Life on Paper: A Mother and Daughter's Struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder | The book tells the story of a young woman suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a psychiatric illness characterized primarily by mood swings, unstable relationships, depression and self-destructive behavior. Pamela Tusiani's copious journals, moving artwork and poetry provide an intimate glimpse of her battle with a personality she could not control. Intertwined with Pamela's voice, Bea Tusiani tells the story of her daughter's struggle and the roller-coaster effect it had on her family. The two points of view present a unique insight into Pamela's state of mind. [Note: the price for this book on Amazon.ca is prohibitive, so we have linked to the Amazon.com listing.]
Voices Beyond the Border: Living with Borderline Personality Disorder | In the immense isolating pain and confusion that BPD can bring with it, this book is here to remind you that you are not alone. This unique anthology brings you some of their voices.
The included poetry and prose features not only pieces by people with BPD, but also the viewpoint of carers and treatment providers. This book won’t teach you the facts and figures about BPD or the latest theories as to what causes or treats it, but it will provide the aspect of BPD that is almost always missed – how it feels. | Cox, V., and L. Robinson (eds.). 2005. Brentwood, UK: Chipmunkapublishing.
Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of a Borderline Personality | An honest and compelling memoir, Girl in Need of a Tourniquet is Merri Lisa Johnson’s account of her borderline personality disorder and how it has affected her life and relationships. Johnson describes the feeling of “bleeding out” — unable to tell where she stopped and where her partner began. A self-confessed “psycho girlfriend,” she was influenced by many emotional factors from her past. She recalls her path through a dysfunctional, destructive relationship, while recounting the experiences that brought her to her breaking point. In recognizing her struggle with borderline personality disorder, Johnson is ultimately able to seek help, embarking on a soul-searching healing process. It’s a path that is painful, difficult, and at times heart-wrenching, but ultimately makes her more able to love and coexist in healthy relationships. | Johnson, M. L. 2010. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.
Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder | With astonishing honesty, this memoir reveals what mental illness looks and feels like from the inside, and how healing from borderline personality disorder is possible through intensive therapy and the support of loved ones. A mother, wife, and working professional, Reiland was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder at the age of 29 — a diagnosis that finally explained her explosive anger, manipulative behaviors, and self-destructive episodes including bouts of anorexia, substance abuse, and promiscuity. A truly riveting read with a hopeful message. | Reiland, R. 2004. Center City, MN: Hazelden.
Siren’s Dance: My Marriage to a Borderline | Walker’s disturbing memoir follows the relationship between the author (a psychiatrist) and his wife, Michelle, from its tumultuous beginning in 1985 to their ambivalent last good-bye three years later. The subtitle “a case study” attempts to maintain a professional distance from this devastating relationship, but it’s all too clear that the illness from which Walker’s wife suffered came close to dragging him down with her. | Walker, A. 2003. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books.
Books on Mindfulness and Buddhism
What Makes You Not a Buddhist | This book is not, repeat not, about meditation. Instead, it looks at everyday life through a Buddhist lens, understanding happiness and suffering from that perspective. Enlightenment ends suffering but also trumps happiness. Khyentse writes persuasively about the importance of understanding emptiness: disappointment lessens, expectations soften, and change is not a shock. | Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche. 2007. Boston: Shambhala Publications.
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life | Jon Kabat-Zinn goes much more deeply into the practice of meditation for its own sake. To Kabat-Zinn, meditation is important because it brings about a state of “mindfulness,” a condition of “being” rather than “doing” during which you pay attention to the moment rather than the past, the future, or the multitudinous distractions of modern life. In brief, rather poetic chapters, he describes different meditative practices and what they can do for the practitioner. The idea that meditation is “spiritual” is often confusing to people, Kabat-Zinn writes; he prefers to think of it as what you might call a workout for your consciousness. This book makes learning meditation remarkably easy (although practicing it is not). But it also makes it seem infinitely appealing. | Kabat-Zinn, J. 2005. New York: Hyperion.
A Complete Guide to the Buddhist Path | Buddhist teachings provide numerous methods for bringing greater meaning and happiness into our lives and into our relationships with others. In A Complete Guide to the Buddhist Path Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche reveals these methods in direct, vibrant, and down-to-earth language. At the core of this work lies The Jewel Treasury of Advice, a text composed by Drikung Bhande Dharmaradza (1704-1754), the reincarnation of Drikung Dharmakirti. Khenchen Rinpoche interprets these ancient teachings with compassion, humor, and a keen awareness for their relevance in contemporary Western life. Those who sincerely want to study and practice the Buddha’s teachings will find this an indispensable guide. | Khenchen Konchok Gyaltsen Rinpoche. 2010.Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications.
The Wisdom of No Escape and Path of Loving-Kindness |It’s true, as they say, that we can only love others when we first love ourselves and we can only experience real joy when we stop running from pain. The key to understanding these truisms lies in remaining open to life in all circumstances, and here Pema Chödrön shows us how. Because when we embrace the happiness and suffering, intelligence and confusion that are a natural part of life, we can begin to discover a wellspring of courageous love within our hearts. | Pema Chödrön. 1991. Boston: Shambhala Publications.
The Miracle of Mindfulness | One of Thich Nhat Hanh’s most popular books, Miracle of Mindfulness is about how to take hold of your consciousness and keep it alive to the present reality, whether eating a tangerine, playing with your children, or washing the dishes. A world-renowned Zen master, Nhat Hanh weaves practical instruction with anecdotes and other stories to show how the meditative mind can be achieved at all times and how it can help us all “reveal and heal.” | Thich Nhat Hanh. 1999. Boston: Beacon Press.
The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness | This refreshing book is yet another sign that the next generation of Buddhism is creative, cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary. Born in 1975 in Nepal, the author is among the generation of Tibetan lamas trained outside of Tibet, and he’s also a gifted meditator. His brain activity has been measured during meditation, earning him the enviable sobriquet of “happiest man on earth.” He fuses scientific and spiritual considerations, explaining meditation as a physical as well as a spiritual process. | Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. 2007. New York: Three Rivers Press.
Articles for Families / Family Connections
The following articles may be available through your public library or through the magazine where they were published.
Hoffman, P. D., A. E. Fruzzetti, E. Buteau, E. R. Neiditch, D. Penney, M. L. Bruce, F. Hellman, and E. Struening. 2005. Family Connections: A program for relatives of persons with borderline personality disorder. Family Process 44:217-225.
Hoffman, P. D., E. Buteau, J. M. Hooley, Dr. Phil, A. E. Fruzzetti, and M. L. Bruce. 2003. Family members knowledge about borderline personality disorder: correspondence with their levels of depression, burden, distress and expressed emotion. Family Process 42(4):469-478.
Hooley, J. M., Dr. Phil, and P. D. Hoffman. 1999. Expressed emotion and clinical outcome in borderline personality disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 158(10):1557-1562.
Hoffman, P. D., A. E. Fruzzetti, and C. Swenson. 1999. Advances in theory and practice: dialectical behavioral therapy – family skills training. Family Process 38:399-414.
Hoffman, P. D., and A. E. Fruzzetti. 2007. Advances in interventions for families with a relative with a personality disorder diagnosis. Current Psychiatry Reports 9:68-73.
Rajalin, M., L. Wickholm-Pethrus, T. Hursti, and J. Jokinen. Dialectical behavior therapy-based skills training for family members of suicide attempters. Archives of Suicide Research 13:257- 263.
Hoffman, P. D., A. E. Fruzzetti, and E. Buteau. 2007. Understanding and engaging families: An education, skills and support program for relatives impacted by borderline personality disorder. Journal of Mental Health 16(1):69-82.
Fruzzetti, A. E., C. Shenk, and P. D. Hoffman. 2005. Family interaction and the development of borderline personality disorder: A transactional model. Development and Psychopathology 17:1007-1030.
Articles on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Fruzzetti, A. E., and E. R. Levensky. 2000. Dialectical behavior therapy for domestic violence: Rationale and procedures. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 7:435-447.
Fruzzetti, A. E., D. A. Santisteban and P. D. Hoffman. 2007. Dialectical behavior therapy with families. In: L. A. Dimeff and K. Koerner (eds.) Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Clinical Practice: Applications across Disorders and Settings, pp. 224-244. New York: Guilford Press.
Iverson, K. M., C. Shenk, and A. E. Fruzzetti. 2009. Dialectical behavior therapy for women victims of domestic abuse: A pilot study. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 40(3):242-248.
American Psychiatric Association. 2000. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed., Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Bateman, A., and P. Fonagy. 2004. Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: Mentalization-Based Treatment. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Beck, A., D. D. Freeman, D. Davis, and associates. 2004. Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders, 2nd edition. New York: Guilford Press.
Cook, J. (compiler). 2007. The Book of Positive Quotations, 2nd edition. Minneapolis, MN: Fairview Press.
Gabbard, G. O., and M. J. Horowitz. 2009. Treatment in Psychiatry: Insight, Transference Interpretation, and Therapeutic Change in the Dynamic Psychotherapy of Borderline Personality Disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, May 2009.
Goodman, M., E. A. Hazlett, A. S. New, H. W. Koenigsberg, and L. Siever, 2009. Clinical Case Confernce: Quieting the Affective Storm of Borderline Personality Disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, May 2009.
Gunderson, J. G. 2009. Borderline Personality Disorder: Ontogeny of a Diagnosis. American Journal of Psychiatry, May 2009.
Kernberg, O. F., and R. Michels. 2009. Editorial: Borderline Personality Disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, May 2009.
Knowlton, L. 1999. Marsha Linehan: Dialectical behavioral therapy. Psychiatric Times 16(7). Available online at www.psychiatrictimes.com/display/article/10168/49651.
Linehan, M. M. 1993. Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press.
Linehan, M. M. 1993. Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press.
Linehan, M. M., H. E. Armstrong, A. Suarez, D. Allmon, and H. L.Heard. 1991. Cognitive- behavioral treatment of chronically suicidal borderline patients. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48(12):1060-1064.
Linehan, M. M., H. Schmidt, L. A. Dimeff, J. W. Kanter, J. C. Craft, K. A Comtois, and K. L. Recknor. 1999. Dialectical behavior therapy for patients with borderline personality disorder and drug-dependence. American Journal on Addiction, 8(4): 279-292.
Lis, E., B. Greenfield, M. Henry, J. M. Guilé, and G. Dougherty. 2007.Neuroimaging and genetics of borderline personality disorder: A review. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience 32(3):162-173.
Oldham, J. M. 2009. Editorial: Borderline Personality Disorder Comes of Age. American Journal of Psychiatry, May 2009.
Sanderson, C. 2008. DBT at a glance. Handout from Behavioral Tech LLC. Available at http://behavioraltech.org/downloads/DBT_FAQ.pdf.
Schwartz, R. C. 1995. Internal Family Systems Therapy. New York: Guilford.
Zanarini, M. C., F. R. Frankenburg, C. J. DeLuca, J. Hennen, G. S. Khera, and J. G. Gunderson. 1998. The pain of being borderline: Dysphoric states specific to borderline personality disorder. Harvard Review of Psychiatry 6(4):201-207.
Zanarini, M. C., F. R. Frankenburg, J. Hennen, B. Reich, and K. R. Silk. 2006. Prediction of the 10-year course of borderline personality disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 163(5): 827- 832.
Zanarini, M.C., F. R. Frankenburg, D. B. Reich, and G. Fitzmaurice. 2010. Time to Attainment of Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder and Stability of Recovery: A 10-year Prospective Follow-Up Study. American Journal of Psychiatry, April 15.