Disorganized Attachment and Parental Invalidation as Factors Contributing to Borderline Personality Disorder
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Many theories have described how Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) develops. BPD, which is characterized by persistent and pervasive cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dysregulation, is among the most severe and perplexing behavioral disorders. Persistent problems in emotional regulation and interpersonal relationships in individuals with BPD can be understood as developing from difficulties in early dyadic regulation with primary caregivers. Latest research reveals an association between childhood emotional invalidation, disorganized attachment, and emotional dysregulation in patients with BPD. The purpose of this capstone is to examine links between attachment disorganization, early history of invalidation, traumatic experiences, and genetic vulnerability, and symptoms observed in individuals with BPD. Starting with the description of the severity of the disorder and the definition of the research problems related to BPD, this in-progress capstone will review existing literature on attachment, parenting and invalidation theories and provide an overview of effective treatments for BPD. Using the Internal Family Systems (IFS) method, a treatment plan for BPD will be presented to illustrate how changing relationship between one’s inner psychological parts may be beneficial for individuals with BPD. IFS focus on cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion is presented as a promising treatment option for addressing such disturbing experiences as parental invalidation and attachment disorganization. This capstone will be beneficial for psychotherapy practitioners, students, teachers as well as for general population interested in understanding etiology of BPD.