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What we have changed our minds about: Part 1. Borderline personality disorder as a limitation of resilience

Fonagy, P; Luyten, P; Allison, E; Campbell, C; (2017) What we have changed our minds about: Part 1. Borderline personality disorder as a limitation of resilience. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation (In press).

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Abstract

This paper sets out a recent transition in our thinking in relation to psychopathology associated with personality disorder, in an approach that integrates our thinking about attachment, mentalizing (understanding ourselves and others in terms of intentional mental states) and epistemic trust (openness to the reception of social communication that is personally relevant and of generalizable significance) with recent findings on the structure of both adult and child psychopathology and resilience. In this paper – the first of two parts – we review evidence suggesting that a general psychopathology or p factor underlies vulnerability for psychopathology. We link this p factor to a lack of resilience using Kalisch and colleagues’ positive appraisal style theory of resilience (PASTOR). We argue that vulnerability for (severe) psychopathology results from impairments in three central mechanisms underlying resilience – positive situation classification, retrospective reappraisal of threat, and inhibition of retraumatizing triggers – which in turn result from a lack of flexibility in terms of social communicative processes. We suggest that, from this perspective, personality disorders, and borderline personality disorder (BPD) in particular, can be considered to be the prototype of disorders characterized by a lack of resilience. Part 2 proposes an evolutionary developmental psychopathology account linking this inflexibility in social communication to problems with the development of epistemic trust – that is, an evolutionary pre-wired social communication system that normally facilitates resilience through salutogenesis, that is, the capacity to learn and derive benefit from the (social) environment.

Type: Article
Title: What we have changed our minds about: Part 1. Borderline personality disorder as a limitation of resilience
Language: English
Keywords: Borderline personality disorder, Resilience, Epistemic trust, Mentalizing, Attachment, Psychopathology
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1545287
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