Borderline Personality Disorder is primarily a pervasive disorder of emotions.
It is the inability to regulate emotions and by emotions, I'm talking about a very broad broad spectrum, not only how you feel, but the physiology of emotions, the experience of emotions, and the actions associated with emotions.
It is a group of people with extraordinarily intense emotional suffering, who are also as simultaneously unable to change their suffering, and regulate the behavior that comes from that suffering. So, the problem there is how do you teach emotion regulation. So I developed an entire module of strategies for regulating emotions.
And those strategies have been taken from the science of emotions, and from the evidence based treatments that treat emotions. You know, if we had a person who had a treatment for one emotion, I simply looked at what do those therapists tell that patient to do.
And then I repackaged all that as a skill.
I would have to say about half of my patients, if you ask them, how they feel, what their emotion is, their functioning, like they're looking at a fog, they look down, and they think I have no idea. They have no idea what their emotion is.
So the first thing we have to do is teach them how to do that we have strategies, which are very effective for that.
And then we have to teach them how to regulate. So there are many strategies for regulation. You can look at the vulnerability factor so often you're very emotional today, because it's something that happened yesterday, because you didn't sleep because you didn't eat because of some stress from yesterday.
So one of the things we look at is what are the factors that make you vulnerable to being emotional?
And how can you change those factors? So we look at that we look at what is the prompting event meaning what happened right before.
Is that something that you can change if you can, that would be teaching problem solving.
If you can't change it, we go to the next which is what's your interpretation? Or what's your thoughts about that?
We have a skill called check the facts. How do you check the facts to see if your interpretations are correct.
So on and on, I mean, there are a lot of different sub skills in emotion regulation.
We know that emotion regulation skills are effective. We've got data on just that all by itself. They are effective and teaching people how to regulate emotions.