Understanding and Improving Relationships with someone struggling with BPD or Emotion Dysregulation Disorder Traits

If you are not a reader, these two books can be the two you read…period!

The High-conflict Couple Fruzzetti, Alan E., Ph.D.  2006.

This is the first book to use dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help high-conflict couples (of any kind) regulate out-of-control emotions, tolerate distressing situations, and resolve problems. DBT is an approach proven to help even the most highly reactive couples build healthy relationships. Don’t let the title fool you! The author co-created the Family Connections Course and wrote it for anyone who is in a relationship of any kind with someone with BPD traits.

Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder. Shari Manning 2021

The book helps to keep out of control emotions from destroying your relationship. It helps explain why someone with BPD acts the way they do and has simple strategies to transform troubled relationships. This includes five strategies to practice in any emotional situation.


Parenting Books for Teens and Children with BPD

Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents Aguirre, Blaise A. MD  2014.

This is a complete guide to understanding and coping when your adolescent has BPD. It is for care-givers, friends and family of those suspected of BPD, or any parent of ad difficult adolescent.

Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions. Harvey, Pat, ACSW LCSW-C, and Jeanine A. Penzo, LICSW 2009

This is excellent for parents of emotional children and teens.

The Power of Validation: Hall, Karyn D., Ph.D., Melissa H. Cook, LPC, and Shari Y. Manning, Ph.D.  2012.

Hall describes what validation is, and that it is more than praising. It is well organized with exercises. Finally, this is not just effective for validating kids, it is good for everybody.


Children’s Books that explain BPD

Millie the Cat has BPD Jesse Shepherd 2015

This is an easy-to-read children’s book for children to understand the basics of someone suffering BPD. It is done with nice pictures and empathy.

The Weather House: Living with a Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder- Lisa Laport and Ronald Fraser 2021.

The writers wrote this book for children with a parent with BPD. It effectively helps children understand that their family is different, in an effective way.


Adults with a Parent with BPD

Surviving a Borderline Parent  Roth, Kimberlee and Freda B. Friedman, PhD, LDSW  2003.

This book effectively discusses the trauma that children experience with a parent suffering BPD symptoms. They also discuss effective tools to survive.


Books by People living with Borderline Personality Disorder Themselves

The Buddha & the Borderline Gelder, Kiera Van. 2011.

This is a most entertaining, well-written and at times humorous autobiography by a person who has had BPD symptoms. Van Gelder uses Family Connections and DBT terminology that are useful for friends and family, and others who have suffered BPD symptoms.

Building a Life Worth Living Marsha Linehan 2020

Marsha Linehan tells the story of her journey from suicidal teenager to world-renowned developer of the life saving Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), using her own struggle to develop life skills for others.

Beyond Borderline Hoffman, Perry D.; Gunderson, John G. 2016.

These are 24 stories of people in recovery from BPD. The writers are in various stages of recovery as a continuous journey. It is not like a movie happy ending and all is fixed. As the writer in “Walking” said: “the happy ending is that I’m alive…and there is hope in that.” Though not for the feint hearted, it should help pull more people out of hell toward a life worth living. The fact we lost both editors in 2019, is sad AND we are glad to have had them when we did.


Other Helpful Books on our Journey

Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified Friedel, O. Robert, MD 2018

Too many psychiatrists have dismissed BPD as an illness and Friedel, through his training and having a sister with it, does not.

Remnants of a Life on Paper  Bea Tusiani; Pamela Tusiani, and Paula Tusiani-Eng, Paula-2014.

This is one courageous, tragic and heartwarming story of a family struggling with the suffering caused by BPD. And it has many teaching moments, messages, and resources to help avert future family tragedies.

Borderline Personality for Dummies-Charles Elliot and Laura Smith, 2009.

This guide helps those who have BPD develop strategies and also helps loved ones accept the disorder and offer support.

The Emotionally Sensitive Person-Karyn Hall 2014.

It’s a commonly heard phrase: Stop being so sensitive. These words can be frustrating to hear, and if you are an emotionally sensitive person, they often have the opposite of the desired effect. But there are effective techniques that can help you manage these emotions before they take over your life. In The Emotionally Sensitive Person, a psychologist provides proven-effective techniques to help people who struggle with intense emotions.


DBT Skills Books

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook McKay, Matthew, Ph.D., Jeffrey C. Wood, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Brantley, MD 2021

This is a great practical workbook for people with symptoms, and a nice secondary source for friends or family.

DBT for Dummies Gillian Galen & Blaise Aguirre 2021

This is virtually a DBT encyclopedia! It also is written with the intention that most anyone can read and understand it, with the belief that DBT is useful for everyone.

A committee of volunteers has carefully read and reviewed hundreds of books related to emotion dysregulation and borderline personality disorder to curate this list of our top reads. The books listed are realistic yet hopeful, portraying an honest description of BPD with accurate information that is either anecdotal or evidence-based. We have been mindful to include books that do not include judgments as we are working hard to decrease the stigma often associated with BPD.

If you have written a book on emotion dysregulation or BPD and do not see it on our book list, please feel free to send a copy to NEABPD, 52 White Beeches Drive, Township of Washington, NJ 07676. Our committee will review the book and add it to our list if it meets the criteria listed above.

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