Recovery and sense of self for individuals with a borderline personality disorder diagnosis

Davidson, Sarah and Simpson, Jane (2015) Recovery and sense of self for individuals with a borderline personality disorder diagnosis. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Recovery for individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a complex, multifaceted process that remains under researched. The thesis focuses on two elements of recovery for individuals with a BPD diagnosis; elements of mental health services that individuals find therapeutically valuable, and how the concept of recovery affects sense of self. The literature review is a thematic synthesis of therapeutic and non-therapeutic elements of mental health care services for those with a BPD diagnosis and provides a detailed, in depth account of this varied experience. Sixteen studies were selected for inclusion and analysis was completed using thematic synthesis as the chosen approach. The results show that approaches to mental health service delivery and diagnosis at an individual, staff and system level can have huge ramifications for service users. Central to the findings was the importance of the therapeutic relationship. Recommendations include the provision of training around the difficulties associated with the BPD diagnosis and attachment for staff, and using elements of relational models such as Sociotherapy across services. The research paper seeks to ask what the concept of recovery means for the sense of self of individuals with a BPD diagnosis. Six service users were interviewed and the data was analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. The resulting analysis produced four themes which showed that recovery is a complex, challenging and seemingly elusive process, understood in the context of ongoing difficulties, ambivalent views on diagnosis, and undeveloped sense of self. Recommendations include identifying difficulties around sense of self as goals for therapy where appropriate, and recognising the effect of attachment relationships. The critical appraisal details reflections on the thesis including the relational nature of the entire process.

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Thesis (PhD)
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14 Jan 2016 09:30
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:41