DONALD Fiona Personal Recovery and BPD Thesis for library.pdf (2.17 MB)

Personal Recovery and Borderline Personality Disorder

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posted on 2017-05-18, 04:34 authored by Fiona Donald
The overarching focus of this thesis is to better understand processes of positive change in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The concept of personal recovery is of importance to this thesis because central to the theoretical basis of personal recovery is the view that it is possible to change in positive ways while living with mental illness. However, much of the existing literature on personal recovery is focused on mental state disorders such as schizophrenia rather than on personality disorder. The focus here is on personal recovery as the concept has been developed within consumer narratives and scholarship rather than on clinical recovery as used in outcome studies of mental illness because the personal recovery literature is focused primarily on process (rather than outcome). The meaning and experience of personal recovery are explored because the recovery paradigm has been widely adopted in health services as a way of supporting individuals who are affected by mental illness, yet it is unclear how well previously established recovery principles apply to BPD. To better understand the change processes associated with recovery from BPD and assess the utility of the recovery paradigm in supporting this population, interviews were conducted with consumers diagnosed with BPD and with clinicians working within individuals with BPD. Their perspectives on the disorder, personal understanding of recovery, and beliefs about how an individual might recover from BPD were explored using thematic analysis. The relationship between self-criticism, self-compassion and recovery was also explored as self-loathing has been identified as a common difficulty for individuals with BPD and may be a barrier to recovery.


Principal supervisor

Katherine Lawrence

Additional supervisor 1

Cameron Duff

Additional supervisor 2

Sathya Rao

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Psychological Sciences

Campus location



Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences

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