When Looking for Treatment

When Looking for Treatment

Finding Treatment for BPD

Finding the right mental health professional to help you can be challenging. There are several kinds of specialists, several treatment options and often, insurance concerns. Listed below are questions you might want to ask as you go through the process of identifying the path that is best for you. Before you start, check with your insurance company about what services are covered in your plan and how to find a list of mental health providers that are in your network.

Finding a Mental Health Professional

The right therapist will be your partner and key to your recovery. You need someone who you can trust— who you feel comfortable talking to about difficult subjects and personal secrets. Take some time at the beginning to find the right person. It’s okay to shop around and ask questions.

* Experience matters. Look for a professional who is experienced in treating the problems that you have and has specific training in treating BPD.

* Learn about different kinds of treatment. Many therapists do a blend of approaches. You want to know how they treat people with BPD, and why they use that particular treatment.

* Check licensing. If you’re paying for a licensed professional, make sure the therapist holds a current license and is in good standing with the state regulatory board. Regulatory boards vary by state and by profession. Also check for complaints against the therapist.

* Trust your gut. Even if your therapist looks great on paper, if the connection doesn’t feel right—if you don’t trust the person or feel like they truly care—go with another choice. A good therapist will respect this choice and should never pressure you or try to make you feel guilty.

* Do you feel that the therapist truly cares about you and your problems?

* Does the therapist seem to understand you?

* Does the therapist accept you for who you are, without judging?

* Could you be honest and open with this therapist, discussing your most personal information and secrets?

* Is the therapist a good listener? Does he or she listen without interrupting, criticizing, or judging? Pick up on your feelings and what you’re really saying? Make you feel heard?

For more information on this topic, these resources may be helpful:

NAMI : How you can get the right Mental Health Treatment

HelpGuide.org: Finding a therapist who can help you

Behavioral Tech directory for a therapist formally trained in Dialectical Behavior Training

Finding an Inpatient Facility

People with BPD who have License to operate:


  • Does the facility have a license to operate ?
    • By whom is it licensed?
    • What is it licensed for (is it licensed to treat people with BPD?)?
    • is the license up to date?
  • How many years has the agency been actively treating persons with BPD?
  • What is the treatment that they use? Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)? Mentalization (MBT)? Transference Focused Therapy (TFP)?
  • How was the staff trained? By whom?
  • What is the maximum number of clients in program(s)?
  • How many people are on staff and what are their disciplines and level of education?
  • What is the client/staff ratio?

Facilities and Services

  • What are the criteria for admission to the program? Who provides the referral information? What kind(s) of treatment(s) are available: individual therapy, group, family, residential, medication?
  • How often is each type of therapy offered per week?
  • What is the treatment orientation? e.g. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); Psychodynamic?
  • What kind of training has the staff had to specifically treat persons with BPD?
  • What is the anticipated length of stay?
  • Is there a handbook of rules: program expectations, i.e., days absent, if outpatient; visiting hours, if inpatient.
  • What kind of family involvement is recommended or required: sessions, family group, contact with staff?
  • Are there any support groups in the area?
  • Is there any contact maintained with most previous clinical care provider(e.g., community psychiatrist)?
  • When does planning for discharge start and who is included in the discussions?
  • Does the agency take responsibility to identify the possible aftercare options?
  • If someone signs themselves out of the program, who is notified?


  • What is the cost: Flat charges? Extra charges? How often billed? Terms of payment?
  • What funding is accepted: Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, self-pay?
  • Is an agency financial counselor available to explain charges and billing procedures? For example, is SSI affected?
  • Are there any resources available to support clients who have financial challenges?