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Structured outpatient treatments improve some aspects of borderline personality disorder

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John F Clarkin

Correspondence to: Dr John F Clarkin, New York Hospital– Cornell Medical Centre, Westchester Division, 21 Bloomingdale Road, White Plains, NY 10605, USA;



What are the effects of transference-focused psychotherapy, dialectical behaviour therapy and dynamic supportive treatment on borderline personality disorder?


90 adults (aged 18–50 years) with DSM-IV borderline personality disorder. Main exclusions: IQ<80, comorbid cognitive disorders, bipolar I disorder, delusional disorders, psychotic disorders, delirium or current substance dependence.


Community-based private outpatient practices, New York and adjacent tri-state area, USA; time period not stated.


Transference-focused psychotherapy, dialectical behaviour therapy or dynamic supportive treatment for one year. Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP): twice weekly individual sessions focusing on dominant affect-laden themes developing between participant and therapist. Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT): weekly individual and weekly group sessions plus telephone consultation as needed, aimed at teaching emotional regulation skills. Dynamic supportive treatment (ST): weekly sessions supplemented with extra sessions as needed, providing emotional support and advice on day-to-day problems. All …

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  • Competing interests: None.