Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder

Second Edition
A Guide to Evidence-Based Practice

Joel Paris

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
January 21, 2020
ISBN 9781462542543
Price: $80.00 $60.00
316 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
January 21, 2020
ISBN 9781462541935
Price: $35.00 $26.25
316 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
December 4, 2019
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $35.00 $26.25
316 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $70.00 $38.50
316 Pages

Acclaimed for its wisdom and no-nonsense style, this authoritative guide has now been revised and expanded with 50% new content reflecting a decade of advances in the field. Distinguished psychiatrist Joel Paris distills current knowledge about borderline personality disorder (BPD) and reviews what works in diagnosis and treatment. Rather than advocating a particular therapy, Paris guides therapists to flexibly interweave a range of evidence-based strategies, within a stepped-care framework. The book presents "dos and don'ts" for engaging patients with BPD, building emotion regulation and impulse control skills, working with family members, and managing suicidality and other crises. It is illustrated throughout with rich clinical vignettes.

New to This Edition

“This book is written by one of the foremost experts in borderline personality disorder....An excellent resource, offering a balance of science, wisdom, and insight designed to improve the treatment of those affected by borderline personality disorder.”

Psychiatric Services (on the first edition)

“Joel Paris gives a thorough overview of the dilemmas in correctly diagnosing and providing the best possible service to individuals living with aspects of this disorder. Dr. Paris's professional experience in treatment and research, combined with an easy-to-read writing style, make this an interesting and educational text for service providers with a range of clinical experience.”

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal (on the first edition)

“[Paris] has gone far in bringing together the evidence from extensive clinical experience and systematic research to create order in a formerly chaotic field. Replete with clinical vignettes, his book is ideal as a teaching guide for graduate students and residents.”

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (on the first edition)

“This book provides a comprehensive, evidence-based account of the history and contemporary understanding of BPD, enlivened by clinical examples throughout. Informed by a lifetime of clinical experience, Paris does not hesitate to give his considered opinions, particularly where the evidence base is lacking. The controversies around the new classifications of personality disorder are discussed and questions about frequency, intensity, and length of treatment debated. The result is a lively and informative read for both the newcomer and seasoned expert.”

—Anthony W. Bateman, FRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist, Anna Freud Centre; Visiting Professor, University College London, United Kingdom

“This book is a gold mine of information about diagnosis and treatment of BPD. Paris explores the causes of the disorder, with a focus on gene–environment interactions, and discusses evidence-based psychotherapy models and the use of medications for symptom management. Paris’s treatment recommendations are accompanied by clinical examples. This book is a ‘must read’ for beginning therapists and a reminder of the state of the art for those who are more experienced.”

—Lorna Smith Benjamin, PhD, Department of Psychology (Emeritus), University of Utah

“Written by a clinician-researcher who has helped to revolutionize our profession’s attitude toward, understanding of, and clinical approach to BPD, this book offers a digestible synthesis of current knowledge and emerging discoveries. It is a practical, optimistic guide that is accessible to any clinician, regardless of background. As in the first edition, Paris provides a comprehensive overview of what every clinician seeing patients with BPD needs to know. Covering important advances in the field, the second edition incorporates double the science but remains a source of boiled-down clinical wisdom. I love Paris’s commentary on his personal journey learning about and researching the disorder, which makes the book even more engaging.”

—Lois W. Choi-Kain, MD, MEd, Director, Adult Borderline Center and Training Institute, and Program and Medical Director, Gunderson Residence, McLean Hospital; Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

“A superb resource for understanding the essential components of BPD and how to effectively structure treatment. Expertly weaving together research evidence and realistic clinical examples, Paris cuts through the myths, misconceptions, and controversies surrounding BPD, and distills a diagnostically precise and practical case conceptualization. Readers learn how to guide patients toward a trajectory of gradual and sustained recovery, while managing the often-vexing challenges of intense affect and impulsive behaviors. A special strength of the second edition is its description of how psychotherapy (and medications) can be pared down to relatively brief and cost-effective interventions. I recommend this volume to clinicians in any health or mental health setting, where BPD is frequently underdiagnosed, misunderstood, or undertreated. It is an excellent text for specialized training in personality disorders or non-routine challenges in the health or mental health clinic.”

—Denise D. Davis, PhD, Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University

Table of Contents


I. Definitions

1. Making the Diagnosis sample

2. Dimensional Models

3. Boundaries with Other Mental Disorders

II. Causes

4. BPD across the Life Cycle

5. Risk Factors

6. A General Model

III. Treatment

7. Outcome

8. Pharmacotherapy

9. Psychotherapy

10. Brief Treatment and Stepped Care

11. Guidelines for Management

12. Stigma and Families

13. Therapeutic Interventions

14. Problems in Therapy

15. Suicidality and Hospitalization

16. Research Directions



About the Author

Joel Paris, MD, is Research Associate at the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Canada, and Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University. He became Full Professor at McGill in 1994 and served as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry from 1997 to 2007. Dr. Paris is past president of the Association for Research on Personality Disorders, co-founder of the North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders, and past Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. His research focuses on the causes, treatment, and long-term outcome of borderline personality disorder. Dr. Paris is the author of more than 280 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and books.


Clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses.

Course Use

Serves as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 2008
ISBN: 9781606238646
New to this edition: