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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder
A Flexible Treatment Plan for Clients with Emotion Dysregulation
Average: 4.1 (12 votes)
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Motivate your BPD clients with values-based treatment! This 16-week ACT protocol will help you get started today.

As you know, clients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and emotion dysregulation often struggle with negative beliefs about themselves—beliefs that can lead to feelings of shame, problems with personal relationships, and dangerous behaviors. And while dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is the standard treatment for BPD, more and more, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) has shown promising results when treating BPD clients by helping them focus on their core values and forgiveness.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder provides a comprehensive program for delivering ACT to clients with BPD. Using the session-by-session, 16-week protocol in this professional guide, you can help clients work through the main driver behind BPD—experiential avoidance—and gain the psychological flexibility needed to balance their emotions and begin healing. You can use this protocol on its own, or in conjunction with treatment.

With this guide, you’ll learn to target the fundamental causes of BPD for better treatment outcomes and happier, healthier clients.

Publisher Reviews
  • “Patricia presents a long overdue book about applying acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and psychological flexibility principles to one of the most needing populations in psychotherapy—challenging some myths about working with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Attention-gripping exercises utilizing an array of experiential and didactic avenues for learning important life knowledge and skills will benefit any practitioner that struggles with BPD clients. Additional ‘nerdy comments’ and an ample theoretical introduction integrates ACT with useful perspectives on BPD and emotion regulation—broadening the therapist repertoire not only practically, but also conceptually.”
    Bartosz Kleszcz, MA, ACT therapist and researcher in Poland

  • “Addressing a highly important and transdiagnostic application, Patricia Zurita Ona has successfully translated the nonlinear model of ACT into a step-by-step approach for the treatment of emotion regulation issues. Backed by scientific references—and complete with creative exercises, worksheets, key teaching points, act-in-action activities, and suggested weekly practices that can be readily applied to group settings or modified for individual use—practitioners will undoubtedly appreciate this practical and comprehensive clinical volume. Programs specializing in the treatment of BPD now have a ready-to-roll-out ACT-based manual.”
    Lou Lasprugato, MFT, peer-reviewed ACT trainer at Sutter Health Institute for Health and Healing

  • “How do we help those who feel too much, too fast, and act in self-defeating ways? This book by Patricia Zurita Ona provides the essential guide to using ACT to help ‘super-feelers’ to strengthen healthy awareness of their emotions, thoughts, and bodies—finding the wisdom in feelings to skillfully connect with what matters. The book is full of treasures: really useful metaphors and exercises; pragmatic approaches to understanding and talking about emotion regulation; engaging and effective modules to meet the needs of ‘super-feelers’; and plenty of hard-won wisdom to recognize and respond to common pitfalls in therapy. Written with terrific humor, intelligence, and compassion, Dr. Z’s manual is thoroughly recommended.”
    —Eric Morris, PhD, senior lecturer and psychology clinic director at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia; fellow of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS); and coauthor of ACT for Psychosis Recovery

  • “Patricia provides an accessible, nuanced deconstruction of emotion regulation, and how ACT promotes psychological flexibility with individuals who experience emotions deeply and intensely. Occupational therapists in particular will find this resource invaluable, as it moves away from diagnostic labeling while clarifying how to make room for all internal experiences, and engage in meaningful actions that promote new skills for a life well lived. This lighthearted manual is flexible in nature with new and engaging content, while also inviting the facilitator to explore their own experiences as a part of the process. This makes it a brilliant asset not only for people who are accessing services, but also to embrace therapists who consider themselves ‘super-feelers.’”
    —Louise Sanguine, occupational therapist for the adolescent addictions and mental health outpatient program at the Alberta Health Services South Health Campus in Calgary, AB, Canada; and consultant occupational therapist for Imagine Psychological Services in Calgary

  • “A large number of people are affected by emotion regulation difficulties every day. Patricia Zurita Ona addresses the challenges you may have as a therapist around the incredible sensitivity of ‘super-feelers,’ wrapped up in the effective science of ACT. The book pays special attention on helping you build ACT skills using examples, exercises, and teaching points. Patricia expertly delineates a contextual understanding of emotion regulation in an easily readable way, so much so that even beginner therapists can benefit from this informative book. I can confidently say that Patricia’s book makes ACT more accessible and approachable for therapists working with the BPD population.”
    —Sindhu BS, MS, founder and president of the ACBS India Chapter; and therapist in private practice in Bangalore, India

  • “In this powerful book, Patricia Zurita Ona guides us step by step into a process-based and ACT-consistent intervention through the challenges of emotion regulation. Patricia kindly and precisely leads the reader to an intense paradigm shift in the way BPD is conceptualized, highlighting the importance of emotion regulation as a process beneath many diagnoses, and a main target for powerful therapeutic interventions. The beauty of this book is that the tools and strategies accurately described here will empower interventions in a wide range of clinical demands.”
    —Desirée da Cruz Cassado, MsC, clinical psychologist, ACT therapist, teacher, and process-based intervention enthusiast committed to developing strategies to increase emotional awareness in groups and individuals


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