Psychopathology: Theory and Practice
7 November 2019 – Marcus West – Borderline Personality Disorder
The term – Borderline Personality Disorder – has a long history, dating back to 1938 and Adolf Stern’s definitive paper (although it has recently been supplanted in the psychiatric field by the term Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder). In this lecture, Marcus West will be tracing some of the ways the concept has been understood in both psychiatric and analytic fields, particularly focusing on Kernberg’s and Fonagy’s conceptualisations and contemporary attachment and trauma theories, which have afforded us further, and now widely accepted, ways of looking at the phenomena. West will explore the overlap between borderline and narcissistic organisations and ways of functioning, before focusing on the powerful and profoundly distressing clinical phenomena as they occur in the consulting room, understood primarily as sometimes near-unbearable (for both patient and analyst) co-constructions in the analytic relationship of early relational trauma. The clinical challenges, as well as the opportunities, opened up by these co-constructions will be explored using, amongst other things, a developed understanding of Jung’s concept of the traumatic complex.