Research is vital to deepen our understanding of borderline personality disorder and the disorder’s trajectory. Recent advancements in research is shedding increasing light on the etiology of BPD and ultimately, helping to dispel some of the pessimism that has long surrounded the disorder. Clinical researchers at the Borderline Personality Disorder Initiative are actively investigating the effects of Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT) with patients diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Under the leadership of Robin L Kissell, M.D. and Daniel Kupper, Ph.D., the BPDI has furthered the knowledge of borderline pathology and MBT as an intervention for BPD

Current research

Social Cognition in Borderline Personality Disorder

Investigators: Dr. Julie Hall & Dr. Robin Kissell

In this study, we are examining the potential usefulness of a relatively new psychodynamic psychotherapy called Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT) for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Moreover, the study will assess the impact of MBT on social cognition. This study requires the evaluation of standard clinical markers used in the Borderline Personality Disorder clinic to track patient progress and overall program evaluation. (IN PROGRESS)

Central Meditation and Imagery Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

Investigators: Dr. Felipe Jain, Dr. Andrew Leuchter & Dr. Robin Kissell

The purpose of the study is to determine whether Central Meditation and Imagery Therapy (CMIT) may help complement MBT by helping people with BPD reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions while they are undergoing MBT. CMIT is a manualized treatment involving guided imagery and meditation that was developed to help patients contain difficult emotional states without acting them out, to observe them more fully, and to establish a sense of connectedness with others through empathic perspective taking. (NOW RECRUITING; please see the flyer below to see if you are eligible )


          Funding new investigators is vital to furthering research breakthroughs in areas which include underlying biological and environmental causes of BPD, earlier and better diagnoses, treatments tailored to individuals, improved quality of life, and recovery. Especially, with senior investigators in BPD research starting to retire, supporting young investigators now will provide them with valuable opportunity for guidance from these experienced researchers. Such collaboration will offer greater expansion of research initiatives, continue to broaden our common knowledge of BPD and give us increasing focus on and vision of recovery. 


Key Research Publications

        AW Bateman, P Fonagy - Journal of personality disorders, 2004 - Guilford Press

         P Fonagy, AW Bateman - Journal of clinical psychology, 2006 - Wiley Online Library

           P Fonagy, P Luyten - Development and psychopathology, 2009 - Cambridge Univ Press