Department

Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Consuelo Cavalieri, Ph.D.

Abstract

Research reveals stigma toward borderline personality disorder (BPD) is widespread and problematic among mental health professionals (Aviram, Brodsky, & Stanley, 2006). It informs professionals’ prejudiced attitudes about BPD and clients, promotes pessimistic views of treatment, and influences discriminatory behaviors from professionals, such as emotionally distancing oneself from clients or being unwilling to help and therapeutically engage (Knaak, Szeto, Fitch, Modgill, & Patten, 2015; Aviram et al., 2006). Professional stigma towards BPD is clinically relevant because it impedes treatment, increases shame and self-stigma within clients, and can actually exacerbate BPD symptoms (Aviram et al., 2006). Literature reviewed included research on stigma, stigma connected to mental illness, stigmatization of mental illness among treating professionals, the stigma of borderline personality disorder, and professionals’ creation and maintenance of borderline personality disorder stigma. The review explores recovery model of mental health and the philosophical approaches to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as two examples of anti-stigma movements within the profession. This information was used to create a reflection journal for professionals to help them gain awareness of professional stigma towards BPD, recognize its consequences, and learn employable strategies to challenge BPD stigma in clinical practice.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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