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Borderline Personality Disorder : A Clinical Guide, Second Edition
John G. Gunderson, M.D., with Paul S. Links, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.
American Psychiatric Association Publishing / Hardcover / May 2008
9781585623358 (ISBN-10: 1585623350)
price: $104.50 (may be subject to change)
366 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-6 business days

Covering the range of clinical presentations, treatments, and levels of care, Borderline Personality Disorder: A Clinical Guide, Second Edition, provides a comprehensive guide to the diagnosis and treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD). The second edition includes new research about BPD’s relationship to other disorders and up-to-date descriptions of empirically validated treatments, including cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic approaches. Compelling new research also indicates a much better prognosis for BPD than previously known.

A pioneer in the field, author John Gunderson, M.D., director of the Borderline Personality Disorder Center at McLean Hospital, draws from nearly 40 years of research and clinical experience. The guide begins with a clear and specific definition of BPD, informed by a nuanced overview of the historical evolution of the diagnosis and a thoughtful discussion of misdiagnosis. Offering a complete evaluation of treatment approaches, Dr. Gunderson provides an authoritative overview of the treatment options and describes in-depth each modality of treatment, including pharmacotherapy, family therapy, individual and group therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapies.

Unlike other works, this book guides clinicians in using multiple modalities, including the sequence of treatments and the types of changes that can be expected from each mode. The discussion of each treatment emphasizes empirically validated therapies, helping clinicians choose modalities that work best for specific patients. In addition, Borderline Personality Disorder: A Clinical Guide, Second Edition, also outlines therapeutic approaches for multiple settings, such as hospitalization, partial hospitalization or day hospital programs, and levels of outpatient care.

Complementing the well-organized treatment guide are a series of informative and intriguing sidebars, providing insight into the subjective experience of BPD, addressing myths about therapeutic alliances in BPD, and questioning the efficacy of contracting for safety. Throughout the book, Dr. Gunderson recommends specific do’s and don’ts for disclosing the diagnosis, discussing medications, meeting with families, starting psychotherapy, and managing suicidality.

A synthesis of theory and practical examples, Borderline Personality Disorder: A Clinical Guide, Second Edition, provides a thorough and practical manual for any clinician working with BPD patients.


Introduction. The borderline diagnosis. Differential diagnosis: overlaps, subtleties, and treatment implications. Overview of treatment. Case management: the primary clinician. Levels of care: indications, structure, staffing. Pharmacotherapy: clinical practices. Pharmacotherapy: selection of medications. Family intervention/therapies. Group therapy. Individual psychotherapies: getting started. Cognitive-behavioral therapies: dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive therapies. Psychodynamic psychotherapies. Future considerations. Appendix: psychoeducational resources. Index.


"Borderline Personality has been one of the most important subjects in contemporary psychiatry. Gunderson reviews the history, the early psychodynamic formulations, the several treatments (both those that work and those that do not), new developments in research, and the immense progress in our understanding and treatment of borderline syndromes in the past few years. His masterful skill in integrating this complex story is enriched with many clinical vignettes, and demonstrates the "excitement and challenge" of the community that is doing the work, and Gunderson's continuing leadership of it."—Robert Michels, M.D., Walsh McDermott University Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, Cornell University

"Long the leading American expert on borderline personality disorder, John Gunderson has produced a "must-read" new book for clinicians. He has masterfully synthesized new data reported since the last edition, making this volume the best up-to-the-minute account of BPD available. He is even-handed in his examination of the various treatments, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses while also leaving a string of clinical pearls along the way. The clarity of the prose style makes this book equally useful for trainees and experienced clinicians."—Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., Brown Foundation Chair of Psychoanalysis and Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine

"Gunderson’s new edition of his 2001 classic text is the definitive source to help us understand patients with borderline personality disorder. The broadening scope of effective treatments for patients with this highly disabling condition is presented in detail, augmented by Gunderson’s invaluable clinical wisdom. This edition is filled with new vignettes illustrating critical aspects of treatment, and the overall message of this book is one of hope. To paraphrase Gunderson, patients with borderline personality disorder can be understood, they can be helped, and they can recover. All clinicians who work with patients with borderline personality disorder should have this book on their shelves."—John M. Oldham, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, The Menninger Clinic; Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine

About the Authors

John G. Gunderson, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts; Director of Psychosocial and Personality Research and Director of the Borderline Personality Disorder Center at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.

Paul S. Links, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

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