Borderline Personality Disorder

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have difficulty regulating their emotions in everyday situations. The disorder affects how individuals interact with others. In many cases, symptoms and side effects significantly impact personal and professional relationships.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “People with borderline personality disorder may experience intense mood swings and feel uncertainty about how they see themselves.” Avery Lane treats women with BPD and other mental health issues using evidence-based and alternative holistic therapies.

Borderline Personality Disorder

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

BPD is a mental health disorder characterized by black-and-white thinking, impulsivity, and difficulties regulating emotions. Someone with BPD may experience extreme shifts in emotional attachment to other people within a short period of time. Often, individuals with BPD experience low self-esteem, distrust of others, uncertainty about how others perceive them, and inconsistent sense of self. As a form of self-protection, people with BPD may push others away or act aggressively to reduce the risk of experiencing emotional distress.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “BPD has been known to lead to:

  • Depression
  • Substance use
  • Problems with work, family, and social relationships
  • Suicide attempts, self-harm, and death by suicide”

BPD has a high rate of comorbidity with SUD and other mental health disorders. According to the previously mentioned article by NIMH, “Research shows that people with borderline personality disorder may have structural and functional changes in the brain, especially in areas that control impulses and emotion regulation.”

Risk Factors for Developing Borderline Personality Disorder

Individuals experiencing BPD have trouble maintaining a sense of self-identity and experience severe shifts in self-worth and personal opinions over very short periods of time. The inconsistency affects how they interact with loved ones and members of the community. Many people with BPD lack a support system. Treatment programs provide clients with access to peer support and essential skills development to reduce the risk of loneliness or social isolation.

Multiple potential factors play a role in whether someone develops BPD, including:

  • Family history of substance abuse or mental health disorders
  • Personal history of substance abuse
  • Trauma, neglect, or abuse
  • Environmental factors
  • Childhood behavioral or attachment issues

Individuals with BPD often have a history of instability within their home life and few healthy social supports. In addition, childhood abuse is very common for individuals diagnosed with BPD. Avery Lane uses trauma-focused therapies to address any untreated traumas.

Common Warning Signs

BPD may cause people to become more withdrawn or aggressive during social interactions. However, the warning signs are different for each person.

Some potential symptoms and side effects of BPD include:

  • Inability to consistently regulate emotional responses
  • Distorted thought patterns and beliefs
  • Highly impulsive reactions to situations or people
  • Emotional intensity during interactions with loved ones
  • Unstable relationships
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness and suicidal ideations
  • Dissociative events, including feelings of unreality

Individuals with BPD often change how they think about others based on their perceptions and a strict belief that people are either “good” or “bad.” People they care about may suddenly move from the “good” to the “bad” category for minor slights or perceived flaws. In addition, BPD often causes people to have an all-or-nothing approach to professional and personal relationships. Someone with BPD may abruptly quit their job or a long-term relationship due to perceived problems.

How Does Borderline Personality Disorder Affect Treatment and Recovery?

Recovering from BPD involves processing traumas and other underlying issues affecting mental health. Clinicians at Avery Lane use various evidence-based and alternative holistic therapies to reduce the risk of re-traumatization and help people with mental health disorders get the treatment they need to recover. In some cases, the all-or-nothing mindset of people with BPD may interfere with recovery. For example, if a client feels like aspects of therapy are emotionally distressing, they may choose to stop treatment entirely instead of finding healthy ways to process and manage their emotional responses.

The side effects and symptoms of BPD may cause some clients in recovery to experience the following:

  • Difficulty building a trusting relationship with the care team and peers within the community
  • Co-occurring disorders may make it more difficult to focus during treatment
  • Episodes of major depression may make it harder to function and attend appointments

Individuals with BPD have an increased risk of self-harming or suicidal behaviors if they have co-occurring substance use or mental health disorders. Avery Lane reduces those risks by providing comprehensive and individualized care to women with dual diagnosis or primary mental health concerns.

Treatment Options at Avery Lane

Many treatment options are available for individuals with BPD, including talk therapy and prescription medications. According to CMAJ, “Psychotherapy is the most important component in the treatment of borderline personality disorder, leading to large reductions in symptoms that persist over time.” Treatment programs at Avery Lane all offer individual and group therapy.

The clinicians help women and their families heal from BPD using various therapeutic tools, including:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Peer support
  • Psychoeducation
  • Trauma treatment
  • Support groups

Avery Lane utilizes a whole-person approach to treatment and offers multiple levels of care, including inpatient, outpatient, and sober living programs. Every client has access to the tools and resources they need to thrive in recovery and manage their mental health after transitioning out of treatment.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) often causes severe symptoms and can interfere with a person’s ability to live a fulfilling life. Professional mental health treatment provides clients with the skills and resources to manage their condition and maintain positive mental health. To learn more about our programs and services, call Avery Lane today at (800) 270-2406.

Contact Avery Lane Admissions Today

Summer Lan Franco
MA, MFT-t, Primary Therapist

Summer Lan Franco loves working with people to facilitate recovery from substance use disorders, disordered eating, mental health issues and complex trauma. She earned her BS in Nutrition and Food Science from California State University Chico and MS in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of California. She has worked in community-based and private practice settings. Her approach is personable and sincere. Summer believes in helping people rediscover their true selves by uncovering barriers that stand in the way. Her warmth and earnest interest in others’ wellbeing are always present in the work she does with people seeking help. She has experience with trauma recovery, substance abuse recovery, codependency, family issues, disordered eating, treatment for anxiety and depression, and working with personality disorders.

Alaina Dunér
Office Manager, Sound Healing Group Facilitator, Reiki Master

Alaina Dunér is a Sonoma County native. She studied sociology and outdoor adventure programming for two years at Loyola University of New Orleans and Warren Wilson College. In 2016 Alaina was on a recreational skydive and had a crash landing that resulted in her fracturing multiple vertebrae in her spine. Since her accident, Alaina has emersed herself in understanding the nuances and complexities of health and spirituality. She is passionate about supporting clients through Reiki and Sound. Since taking a pause from university, Alaina has become a certified Reiki Master Teacher in the Tibetan Usui system, an Ayurvedic yoga instructor, a health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and a trauma informed sound facilitator. At the end of 2022 Alaina will attend Southern Utah University to complete her bachelor’s in aerospace and aviation with an emphasis on rotary flight.

Sunnie Skillman
Energy Worker

Sunnie has worked within the field of Energy Psychology for over 20 years and has been trained in a number of healing modalities, including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Access Consciousness. She has been using the tools of Access Consciousness for 23 years, teaching classes and working with clients using various hands-on energy body work techniques. She specializes working with clients who have symptoms of PTSD and assisting in clearing where trauma is stored in the body.
Sunnie brings her personal experience with trauma healing as well as her kind and
caring energy to support the ladies interested in working with other healing modalities
at Avery Lane.

Nicole Collins,
AMFT, Primary Therapist

Nicole Collins entered the field of healing after receiving her BA from Colorado State University
in Human Services, which led her to work in domestic violence. Following her beliefs and
passion in the body-mind-spirit connection and the Intelligence of the Self-healing power, she
got her MS from Touro University in Vallejo. She believes that addiction, alcoholism,
depression, the things that push against your joy, calm, serenity, and sense of security, are
powerful and baffling. Still, there is something unique inside of you that is ready to push back
against it all. The fear, anxiety, depression, and trauma that press against your head and chest
are real, but they should not define you. She feels her role is to help you find the resources
within to overcome the challenges and suffering that life may bring. She specializes in trauma,
substance abuse, LGBTQIA+ community, matters of belonging, helping individuals heal in their
relationships within themselves. In your work together, she will meet you where you are and
support you in reacquainting you, with all parts of yourself, including your inherent wisdom.

Erin Miller, RADT
Recovery Counselor

Erin is a Registered Alcohol Drug Technician, Certified Recovery Coach, and Certified Clinical
Trauma Specialist-A (Trauma and Addiction). She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in
Psychology and Addiction Studies at Aspen University. Through her personal experience with
alcohol addiction and recovery, Erin was inspired to support others on their recovery journeys.
She brings kindness, compassion, and encouragement to her work at Avery Lane. Erin lives in
Sonoma County with her husband and their two adventurous children.

Laurel LeMohn
Recovery Counselor

is a Mendocino County native. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University in 2014 and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University. She has been a Recovery Counselor at Avery Lane since October, 2021, and works from a trauma-informed, psychodynamic, and humanistic lens. She has had a desire towards helping others since she was young and looks forward to working with you as you transition your life into one where you are thriving and proud to be living.