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The weirdness of having a bunch of other minds like yours in the room: the lived experiences of mentalization-based therapy for borderline personality disorder

Gardner, K; Wright, KM; Elliott, A; Graham, S; Fonagy, P; (2020) The weirdness of having a bunch of other minds like yours in the room: the lived experiences of mentalization-based therapy for borderline personality disorder. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice , 93 (3) pp. 572-586. 10.1111/papt.12243. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: Studies of lived experiences are important for improving treatment effectiveness, but most studies of mentalisation-based therapy (MBT) are quantitative. This qualitative study aimed to better understand service users’ lived experiences of MBT, including their experiences of change. / Design: This is a qualitative study that used one-to-one semi-structured interviews. / Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight MBT service users recruited via four NHS trusts. Interviews were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). / Results: Three superordinate themes were identified: being borderline, being in the group, and being on a journey. ‘Experiences of diagnosis’ and ‘the group’ are salient topics in the lived experiences of service users’ during the MBT journey, as is the nature/type of ‘change’ which can create symptom reduction albeit alongside a negative felt experience. / Conclusion: Our research aligns with current thought regarding the complexity and challenges of treating BPD via psychotherapy and adds a further dimension, that of experiencing MBT and changes during therapy. The participants’ experiences of BPD, and of experiencing MBT are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: The weirdness of having a bunch of other minds like yours in the room: the lived experiences of mentalization-based therapy for borderline personality disorder
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/papt.12243
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/papt.12243
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Borderline personality disorder; mentalisation-based therapy; change; interpretative phenomenological analysis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076811
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