Borderline Personality Disorder, Trauma, and Resiliency – Friday, May 2, 2008

Borderline Personality Disorder, Trauma, and Resiliency

Friday, May 2, 2008
New Haven, CT

Conference Sponsors

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center

Purpose of the Conference

The complex challenges associated with BPD will be addressed in order to inform mental health professionals, families and consumers of the most current diagnostic and treatment options available, and other issues of current interest to those affected by this disorder.


The Conference is for physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, family therapists, counselors, nurses, emergency room personnel, law enforcement personnel and agencies, educators, family members, friends, and consumers.

Statement of Need

  • Diagnosis and treatment interventions of borderline personality disorder should begin as soon as possible.
  • Borderline Personality disorder (BPD) is a severe and generally chronic disorder and people who suffer from it are underserved.
  • Friends and families are often bewildered and do not know how to help.
  • Treatment programs for those with BPD need to be more readily available.
  • Families need access to programs such as those already developed for several other mental illnesses.
  • BPD presents patients, their families, clinicians, and researchers with multiple challenges.

Course description

Presenters will offer current information on research and best practice and family members and consumers will share their experiences. Specific topics to be covered are: associations of BPD with trauma and PTSD, varying responses to trauma, family and consumer perspectives and support, BPD recovery, dialectical behavior therapy as applied to trauma, and trauma resiliency. Each session allows time for questions and answers, and the day will close with an interactive panel discussion that will explore treatment options and the fostering of resiliency in individuals with borderline personality. This conference will provide a forum for professionals, family members, and consumers to better understand the disorder from various perspectives.

Conference focus

This conference will provide a forum for professionals, family members, and consumers to better understand the disorder from various perspectives. Presentations will focus on:

  • Overview of BPD diagnosis and theory
  • Associations of BPD with trauma and PTSD
  • Effects of prolonged and repeated trauma (Complex PTSD)
  • Consumer and family perspectives
  • Family support options
  • BPD recovery and vocational preparation
  • Fostering resiliency in trauma survivors
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy applied to complex trauma

Continuing Education Credits:

The May 2, 2008 Borderline Personality disorder, Trauma, and Resiliency has been approved for 6.25 Continuing Education Credit Hours by the National Association of Social Workers, CT and meets the continuing education criteria for CT Social Work Licensure renewal.To receive a CE certificate at the end of the conference, license number and request for CE’s should be included in the registration information, or at time of sign-in / sign-out at the conference.

Conference Program

Moderator for the day: Seth R. Axelrod, PhD
Welcome Perry D. Hoffman, PhD – President, National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder
Opening Remarks William H. Sledge, MD – George D and Esther S Gross Professor of Psychiatry
Medical Director, Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital
Assistant Chief of Psychiatry, Yale New Haven Hospital
Borderline Personality Disorder and Trauma Seth R. Axelrod, Ph

  1. Familiarize attendees with diagnostic criteria and leading models of BPD
  2. Review relationships of BPD to trauma and PTSD
  3. Discuss controversies in conceptualizing BPD as a trauma-related disorder.
  4. Review longitudinal course of BP
BPD and Complex PTSDThere is an audio problem in the initial 7.5 min. If desired, you may fast forward and enjoy the remainder of this presentation. Judith Lewis Herman, MD

  1. Introduce the concept of complex PTSD, and review the conditions of prolonged and repeated trauma under which it develops.
  2. Present the descriptive overlap with BPD, and review the evidence highlighting the specificity of the association between childhood trauma and BPD.
  3. Discuss implications for the treatment
Consumer and Family Perspectives and Family Connections Perry D. Hoffman, PhD

  1. Why families need help
  2. Research and A Family Program: Family Connections
Thinking and Rethinking BPD Amanda Wang

  1. To understand the impact of BPD as the disorder left untreated impedes the course of a person’s life
The Connections Place: A Portal for Hope Dale Terilli

  1. Present a job preparedness program specifically designed for people who have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder to overcome barriers which have interrupted their vocational journey.
Beyond Remission: Mapping BPD Recovery Kiera Van Gelder, MFA

  1. Introduce a developmental model of BPD recovery
  2. Explore obstacles to BPD recovery with focus on identity development and relationships
  3. Define dialectics of BPD recovery and resiliency
Fostering Resiliency Steven M. Southwick, MD

  1. Discuss definitions of resiliency from trauma illustrated with case examples
  2. Present biological, psychological, and social factors that are implicated in the expression of trauma resiliency
  3. Explore lessons from the resiliency literature as they might be applied to fostering resiliency in individuals with BPD, their families, and their mental health providers
Applications of Dialectical Behavior Therapy To Trauma-Related Problems Shireen L. Rizvi, Ph.D.

  1. Demonstrate the applicability of DBT principles to case formulation and treatment planning for individuals with trauma-related problems
  2. How to conceptualize trauma-related problems according to the biosocial theory, stages of treatment, and behavioral theory in DBT
  3. How to apply key DBT strategies (validation, problem-solving, dialectical strategies) to trauma-related problems
Panel Discussion: BPD, Complex PTSD, and Resiliency Moderator: Ellen Nasper, PhD
Panelists: Judith L. Herman, MD; Shireen Rivzi, PhD; Steven M. Southwick, MD; Kiera Van Gelder, MFA

  1. Compare and contrast Complex PTSD with Borderline Personality Disorder
  2. Translate models of resiliency and treatment to case material
  3. Facilitate discussion between experts and conference attendees


Conference Presenters

Seth R. Axelrod, PhD is an assistant professor of the Yale University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, team leader of the DBT and DBT for Substance Use Disorders (DBT-SUD) at the Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital Intensive Outpatient Program, and the Clinical Director of Parent Support Services, a newly developed clinical research center and satellite of Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) that serves maltreated children and their families involved in the DCF system. He received his PhD from the University of Kentucky, completed internship training focusing on DBT with the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and obtained postdoctoral training in personality disorders research at the Yale University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Axelrod enjoys teaching and supervising mental health professionals of various disciplines and providing training and consultation to schools and other mental health agencies. He is the founder of the Connecticut DBT Network, an organization that supports the development and practice of DBT and that facilitates referrals to Connecticut DBT programs. Dr. Axelrod is actively involved in research, and has published and presented his work in the areas of DBT, personality disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Judith Lewis Herman M.D. is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of Training at the Victims of Violence Program at The Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA. Dr. Herman received her medical degree at Harvard Medical School and her training in general and community psychiatry at Boston University Medical Center. She is the author of two award-winning books: Father-Daughter Incest (Harvard University Press, 1981), and Trauma and Recovery (Basic Books, 1992). She has lectured widely on the subject of sexual and domestic violence. She is the recipient of the 1996 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the 2000 Woman in Science Award from the American Medical Women’s Association. In 2007 she was named a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Perry D. Hoffman, PhD is the President and a co-founder of the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD). She has several grants from the National Institute of Mental Health with a focus on families who have a relative with borderline personality disorder.  Dr. Hoffman is co-designer of the 12-week psycho-education course for families, Family Connections, which is available in many locations both in the United States as well as other countries. She is a co editor, with John G. Gunderson, MD, of the book Understanding and Treating Borderline Personality Disorder: A Guide for Professionals and Family Member and co editor of Borderline Personality Disorder: Meeting the Challenges to Successful Treatment currently in press. Dr. Hoffman, who is intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), has been the director of several treatment programs in the New York area and now is in private practice in New York City and Westchester County, NY.

Ellen Nasper, PhD is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry where she supervises trainees and teaches courses on Dialectical Behavior Therapy and The Psychosocial Consequences of Attachment Trauma.  She is the Director of Community Outpatient Services at the Central Avenue site of Greater Bridgeport Community Mental Health Center, directs the Dialectical Behavior Therapy program for the Southwest Community Mental Health System, and provides consultation for the Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services on developmental trauma related issues. She coauthored The Return from Madness  (Jason Aronson, New Jersey, 1996) with Kathleen Deegan, M.D., which explored the impact of the new antipsychotic medications on persons recovering from severe and persistent psychotic disorders.

Shireen L. Rizvi, Ph.D. received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Washington. She studied borderline personality disorder and DBT for more than five years under the mentorship of Dr. Linehan and worked as a research therapist in Dr. Linehan’s research lab, providing individual psychotherapy and skills training. Her dissertation research focused on the use of the DBT skill of  ‘opposite action’ to treat shame. She completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship at the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology and an NIMH postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for PTSD at the Boston VA Healthcare System. Dr. Rizvi is currently Assistant Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Dr. Rizvi has written and presented numerous theoretical and research papers on BPD, DBT, and trauma. Her areas of research and clinical expertise include shame, treatment development, trauma, and assessment and treatment of suicidal behaviors.

Steven M. Southwick, MD is Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale Medical School and at the Yale Child Study Center, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and Deputy Director of the Clinical Neurosciences Division of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. He is a recognized expert on the psychological and neurobiological effects of extreme psychological trauma. Dr. Southwick has served on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Traumatic Stress. He has published extensively in the scientific literature on the phenomenology and neurobiology of PTSD, the longitudinal course of trauma-related psychological symptoms, memory for traumatic events, treatment of PTSD and on neurobiological and psychological factors associated with resilience to stress. He has worked with a wide range of stress sensitive and stress resilient individuals including combat veterans with PTSD, civilian children and adults with PTSD and very high functioning stress-resilient prisoners of war and active Special Forces soldiers. Dr. Southwick has been awarded numerous research grants and has served on a number of federal grant review committees. He has also won several awards for excellence in teaching and clinical work.

Dale Terilli is Program Director at The Connections Place, a job preparedness program in Manhattan for people with BPD who are returning to the world of work.  For more than three decades, she worked at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in the Therapeutic Activity Department. She was trained in DBT in 1996 and was the Admission Coordinator and Treatment Coordinator in The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Day Program. Her work in DBT also includes a Co-leader in The DBT Family Group, coordinating the College Outpatient program for BPD students, providing seminars to introduce professionals to DBT, lectures to the community and other professionals, consulting to WJCS for monthly DBT for the past four years. She was also the Clinical Coordinator at the Mount Sinai Medical Center DBT Outpatient Program. Ms. Terilli and Beth Elliott, PhD, The Connections Place Director, have joined their skills in the planning and implementation of the TCP.

Kiera Van Gelder, MFA is a writer, artist and educator. She is the founder and director of Middle Path, Inc. a borderline personality disorder advocacy and education organization. An international speaker and presenter, Ms. Van Gelder is featured in the documentary “Back from the Edge: Living with and Recovering from Borderline Personality Disorder.” She is on the board of directors of the New England Personality Disorder Association and is the Massachusetts Consumer Council Representative for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Ms. Van Gelder has pioneered a peer-facilitated psychoeducation curriculum for BPD and is currently collaborating with clinical communities to train staff and peer specialists on how to support all those affected by the disorder.

Amanda Wang, organizer of a peer-led support group for BPD/SI in New York City, is currently working on RethinkBPD, a venture designed to define new solutions for this community. Ms. Wang’s associate degree from Pratt Institute in Digital Design and Interactive Media has stood her in good stead to create, a website aimed to draw attention to the human side of the disorder. Her own experiences speak to the need to understand, educate, and provide access to proper treatment.