Individuals living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be an emotional rollercoaster, filled with intense emotions and challenges in forming stable relationships. Eye Movement, Desensitization, and Reprocessing (EMDR) with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) can help in alleviating the distress associated with BPD. In this blog, we will explore what EMDR therapy is, how it works, and its potential benefits for individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder
BPD is characterized by intense and fluctuating emotions. As well as unstable self-image, and difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships. People with BPD may experience intense fear of abandonment, engage in impulsive behaviors, express anger and rage ineffectively, and struggle with a sense of identity.
Traditional forms of therapy, talk therapy, as usual, show little help for individuals with BPD. While Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is one of the most effective therapies for people who have BPD/Emotion Dysregulation. Recent studies are showing that EMDR is a beautiful adjunct to DBT. Some may find it challenging to process traumatic memories and emotions effectively. Moreover, this is where EMDR comes into play.
What is EMDR?
EMDR was developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s. Initially designed to treat trauma-related disorders, EMDR therapy has since been adapted to address a variety of mental health conditions, including BPD.
The core of EMDR involves bilateral stimulation. This can be achieved through the EMDR therapist guiding the client’s eye movements, auditory tones, tapping, or tactile stimulation. Bilateral stimulation helps the brain reprocess traumatic memories and emotions. Thus, allowing individuals to integrate them more adaptively.
How EMDR Therapy Works for Borderline Personality Disorder
Targeting Traumatic Memories: EMDR helps individuals process and reframe traumatic memories, reducing their emotional charge. For those with BPD, this can be especially beneficial. As it may contribute to the dynamic dysregulation characteristic of the disorder.
Enhancing Emotional Regulation: One of the critical challenges in BPD is difficulty regulating emotions. EMDR can assist individuals in developing better emotional regulation. Typically by helping them process overwhelming emotions and integrate their DBT skills more effectively.
Improving Self-Image and Identity: Individuals with BPD often struggle with a stable sense of self. However, EMDR can aid in restructuring negative self-beliefs. Promoting a more positive and cohesive self-identity.
Building Resilience: EMDR promotes adaptive processing of traumatic experiences. Fostering resilience and reducing the impact of past events on present-day functioning. This is crucial for individuals with BPD working towards a more stable and fulfilling life, their life-worth living goals.
Benefits of EMDR Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder
Effective Trauma Processing
EMDR therapy is effective in processing trauma and traumatic invalidation. Which is often at the root of distress for individuals with BPD. Creating impulsive behaviors in trying to get their needs met.
Improvement in Overall Functioning
Many individuals with BPD report improvements in their overall functioning. Including better relationships and increased emotional stability, after undergoing EMDR and DBT therapy.
Enhancing DBT Skills
By using EMDR’s Resource Development and Installation (RDI), the resourcing enhances the learning of the DBT skills during sessions and in between sessions. RDI can help with breathing exercises and being present in each moment. As well as with awareness and non-judgmental, not ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. It also allows individuals to apply the mindfulness skills of observing and describing one mindfully and non-judgmentally in daily life. So they can experience a calm/safe state of being with their five senses along with tapping into strengthening one’s adaptive memory network. Which contains positive experiences, positive feelings, affect regulation skills, safety, responsibility, control/choices, and a sense of belonging.
RDI is also helpful for individuals with BPD to build a sense of safety and reduce vulnerabilities. Through resourcing, individuals can develop safety and trust in themselves of their emotions, thoughts, and choices. As they arise in their daily lives. Anxiety is often related to safety and fears. So RDI helps individuals immediately work on reducing their anxiety. Which can be freeing. Resourcing also allows individuals with BPD to be able to be in control and have choices over emotions and behaviors. Many people with BPD experience their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are in control of them and are in the driver’s seat controlling them. Through RDI, one can return to the driver’s seat. To make effective choices rather than acting from impulses, anger, and rage.
EMDR Therapy Can Transform Your Healing Journey
While EMDR alone is not a cure for Borderline Personality Disorder, when it is combined with DBT therapy, the symptoms of BPD can be reduced and eliminated. When the symptoms don’t exist, then the criteria for BPD are not met, and there is no label for BPD. EMDR does offer a promising avenue for individuals to process traumatic experiences and build healthier coping mechanisms. EMDR and DBT together have the potential to be a transformative tool in the journey toward healing for individuals who are living with Borderline Personality Disorder. The freedom from the symptoms and labels of BPD allows people to live their lives worth living goals.
Ready to Begin EMDR Therapy in Las Vegas, NV and Torrance, CA For Borderline Personality Disorder?
Empower your journey towards emotional stability and self-discovery with EMDR therapy. Discover a transformative path towards managing your Borderline Personality Disorder by unlocking the power of your mind with the help of DBT Center of The South Bay. Take the first step towards a more balanced, resilient, and empowered life. Follow these three simple steps to get started:
- Reach out to us using the contact form to see if EMDR therapy is right for you.
- Meet with a skilled EMDR therapist.
- Begin your healing journey as someone with BPD!
Other Services at DBT Center of South Bay
DBT Center of the South Bay has helped many people find the motivation to live fuller, more connected lives. In addition to providing EMDR Therapy for those struggling with BPD, I provide treatment options using DBT Therapy for adults to help with managing anger, social isolation, and loneliness. I also specialize in helping those experiencing suicidal thoughts and self-harm behaviors. My services also include Borderline Personality Disorder Therapy for those struggling to manage their BPD symptoms. Located in Las Vegas, NV, and Torrance, CA, you can access my services from anywhere in the states of California and Nevada using online therapy.