Borderline Personality Disorder as a Maturational Failure of the Right brain

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a severe disturbance of personality-functioning. It is characterised by affect and impulse-control disturbances associated with deficits in emotion regulation, as well as a pervasive pattern in self-image and persistent difficulties in interpersonal relationships. Current models of the aetiology and adaptive dysfunction of BPD are now converging as an attachment disorder that formed in the first years of life. These patients commonly experienced abusive and neglectful developmental backgrounds, a growth-inhibiting relational environment not only for social-emotional development but for early brain maturation.

Models of developmental psychopathology suggest that borderline attachment histories alter the development of regulatory cortical-sub-cortical limbic-autonomic circuits of the early developing right brain. In line with these models, a number of recent neurobiological studies now show right brain and orbitofrontal deficits in BPD patients. The clinical relevance of this documented maturational failure for diagnosis and treatment is discussed in the light of research.

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THE SPEAKER

Dr Allan Schore

Dr Allan Schore is on the clinical faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, and at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain, and Development.

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This video presentation is from Fragile Selves: Working with Narcissistic and Borderline States of Mind. To find out more about this module click here.