Transferred Focused Psychotherapy vs Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder: Α review of the current RCT-based literature

  • Andreas Tsirides
  • Triantafilia Iliopoulou
  • Penelope Louka
Keywords: Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Transference-Focused Psychotherapy


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a persistent pattern of instability in terms of emotion regulation, impulsivity, self-image, interpersonal relationships with extreme ‘splitting’ between idealisation and devaluation of others, including also stress-related paranoid ideation and dissociative symptoms. Self-harming behaviour is also common amongst BPD patients. The manifestation of these symptoms may lead to serious disturbances of quality of life for patients, families and their significant others along with problems in professional and personal development. Several evidence-based psychotherapeutic approaches have been developed to address these issues. In this review two of them were put into scrutiny; Dialectical Behaviour Therapy or DBT, and Transference-Focused Psychotherapy or TFP. These were reviewed by examining RCT studies published in Cochrane and databases. The efficacy of these two interventions was examined on similar outcomes, such as therapy dropout, general BPD symptoms, global functioning, self-harm, and social adaptation. No prominent superiority for either of the treatments in comparison was identified, however both TFP and DBT show greater efficacy when compared to other, non-BPD specific psychotherapeutic approaches.
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