Recovery Resources

Recovery Resources for BPD

Welcome to RECOVERY RESOURCES, a collection of information about recovering from borderline personality disorder, reviewed by a committee of people who have had the diagnosis, are family members of a loved one with the diagnosis, and two dedicated professionals who work with individuals diagnosed with BPD. The goal is to complement our website with reliable information to help facilitate growth and resilience.


This excellent site thoroughly covers the subjects of What Is Borderline Personality Disorder, Signs and Symptoms of BPD, Treatment, Clinical Trials, Statistics, Finding Help, Suicide Prevention, and Publications.   A link to Medline Plus gives a brief discussion in Spanish.


The site connects people with disabilities, their families and caregivers to helpful resources on topics such as how to apply for disability benefits, find a job, get health care or pay for accessible housing. You can also find organizations in your community to help you get the support you need.


Medications, Assistance Programs, Discount Programs

NeedyMeds is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit information resource dedicated to helping people locate assistance programs to help them afford their medications and other healthcare costs. Great website for help finding low or no cost community programs and service (if available) within 20 miles of your zip code.


GUIDELINE WATCH – Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder 

This document by John M. Oldham, M.D., M.A., American Psychiatric Association 2005, is the recommended outline for treatment options – good for insurance inquiries and guidance for those in recovery as well as clinicians.  Non-members are required to pay $35 to access the document.



This site, developed by Dr. Robert O. Friedel, has a companion book “Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified”, 2004.  The website is a compilation of all the essentials necessary for learning, understanding, and getting to the ‘nitty gritty’ of borderline personality disorder.  Clinicians, family members, and those with BPD can easily obtain all the important information necessary for gaining an understanding of this serious illness – written with a healthy dose of hope.



Behavioral Tech was founded by Marsha M. Linehan, PhD (the developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy).  The organization trains mental health professionals in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and associated evidence-based treatments.  Though its primary focus is for professionals, Behavioral Tech’s website includes resources useful for consumers and families.  Specifically:
database of intensively trained DBT clinicians
Dialectical Behavior resources including Mindfulness
tools for those in recovery
– the University of Washington site that features Marsha Linehan and links readers to her biography as well as to her resources for those with BPD–

Behavioral Tech sells several videos that are useful to those in recovery:

  • The “House of DBT” video explains the 4 stages of DBT
  • Five videos of Marsha Linehan explaining various DBT skills (“Opposite Action and “Chaos to Freedom”)


SAMHSA – Substance Abuse  Mental Health Services Administration 

SAMHSA’s website contains much information useful to those in recovery including information on suicide prevention, treatment locator services, homeless resources, and disability benefits (all of which are linked from their home page.



Specific information on BPD:

The Report to Congress on Borderline Personality Disorder is an excellent document for advocacy and reliable information.  It outlines the debilitating symptoms, prevalence in the population, discrimination against those with BPD and its recommendations for expanding early detection, evidence-based treatment, and family education to promote recovery.


This site is a national registry of evidence-based treatments including DBT for BPD



The Home page contains a link to useful information about BPD that describes symptoms, commonly asked questions, origins, treatment, suicide and self-harm, treatments, medications, plus additional resources and links.  Individuals seeking recovery information will find this website quite useful and readable.


This site provides a wealth of information on all mental illnesses and specifically on borderline personality disorder.

This site offers helpful educational information about depression and suicide.



Search for ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ for information about workplace accommodations for psychiatric disorders, a self-directed course on psychiatric rehabilitation, and resources on psychiatric rehabilitation at work and school.



This is the Dual Recovery Anonymous Resource Center for those looking for a 12-step or self-help group when one has a substance addiction issue as well as a mental health diagnosis.


This organization is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research.


THE HIGH-CONFLICT COUPLE by Alan E. Fruzzetti, PhD,  New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2006

To help in reducing the hurtful conflict many partners experience, Dr. Fruzzetti, uses research and experience to explain the basic interpersonal skills of validation and emotion regulation.  This small book starts off on the right foot by discussing how to understand emotion in relationships and how to stop making things worse.  Short practice exercises throughout the book help us to personalize and learn techniques that apply to the lives we’re living.


BORDERLINE PERSONALITY  DISORDER – Meeting the Challenges to Successful Treatment, edited by Perry D. Hoffman, PhD and Penny Steiner-Grossman, EdD, MPH, The Haworth Press, 2008

Chapters of particular interest to those in recovery with BPD are:

  • Borderline Personality Disorder:  An Overview by John Gunderson, MD
  • Biological Underpinnings of Borderline Personality Disorder – Goodman, Triebwasser, and New. This chapter is quite technical but explains the biological research identifying neurotransmitters and the implicated brain regions affecting impulsive aggression and mood instability.
  • Inhabited by a Cry:  Living with Borderline Personality Disorder by Kiera Van Gelder Article in Social Work in Mental Health, available in pdf.
  • GET ME OUT OF HERE – My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder by Rachel Reiland, 2004 published by Hazelden

A personal memoir, Reiland reveals what mental illness feels like and looks like from the inside.  Her story is horrifying, but in the end, hopeful – offering living proof that healing from this tenacious psychiatric disorder is possible through intensive therapy and the support of loved ones.


FREEDOM FROM SELF HARM – Overcoming Self-Injury with Skills from DBT and Other Treatments by Kim L. Gratz, Ph.D., and Alexander L. Chapman, Ph.D., 2009, New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

A complete guide to stopping self-injury with facts about self-harm, myths about the behavior, and providing self-soothing techniques one can begin to use for regulating difficult or overwhelming emotions.  The book includes self-assessment worksheets, guidance for seeking professional help and information about the most effective therapies and medications.  The authors explain the tools from dialectical behavior therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy that apply to coping with the urge to self-harm.



Dr. Linehan’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills manual for clinicians and clients.  Worksheets and handouts are included.


THE DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY SKILLS WORKBOOK FOR ANXIETY – Breaking Free from Worry, Panic, PTSD & Other Anxiety Symptoms by Alexander L. Chapman, PhD, Kim L. Gratz, PhD, Matthew T. Tull, PhD,  2011, New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

A useful workbook for people suffering from various forms of anxiety with emphasis on mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness skills, specific chapters are devoted to Stress, Worry, Flashbacks, Panic  Attacks, Obsessions and Compulsions, and Social Anxiety.


WELLNESS RECOVERY ACTION PLAN – A System for Monitoring, Reducing and Eliminating Uncomfortable or Dangerous Physical and Emotional Difficulties by Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, Revised 2002

This small book of 83 pages outlines a workable system to help us monitor self-management of physical and emotional difficulties with a practical and achievable Wellness Recovery Action Plan.  The book is easy to read and is formatted for daily use.


THE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER SURVIVAL GUIDE:  Everything You Need to Know about Living with BPD (2007).  Alexander L. Chapman and Kim L. Gratz

An excellent overview of the etiology and symptoms of BPD as well as a description of Mentalization and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Skills for coping with emotions and with suicidal thoughts are also covered.


THE POWER OF VALIDATION:  Arming Your Child Against Bullying, Peer Pressure, Addiction, Self-Harm, and Out-of-Control Emotions (2011).  Hall, Karyn, Ph.D., and Cook, Melissa, LPC

Though written as a parenting book, the authors give easy to understand steps for learning the important skill of Validation.  This is a relationship and communication skill of primary importance benefitting self, parent, sibling, partner, or child.


UNDERSTANDING AND TREATING BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER:  A Guide for Professionals and Families (2005) John G. Gunderson, M.D. and Perry D. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Good overview of BPD, including possible etiology and treatment.   The book includes specific information for families on living with someone who has the disorder and gives written descriptions by a father and a mother of their experience.


THE MINDFUL PATH TO SELF-COMPASSION: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions  (2009) Christopher K. Germer, Ph.D.

The author defines and describes self-compassion and gives exercises for practice.


BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER DEMYSTIFIED: An essential guide for understanding and living with BPD  by Robert O. Friedel, M.D., 2004

In reader-friendly language, Dr. Friedel provides a thorough overview of the medical field’s understanding of Borderline Personality Disorder, including its symptoms, causes, connections to physiological brain involvement, treatments, medications, and psychotherapies.  While there have been some changes in the ensuing years since its publication, it still provides a solid foundation of information.



Ms. VanGelder openly and courageously shares her chaotic struggle with her “demons” of drug addition, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and self-harm.  The reader sees her fighting to find peace through therapy, a little on-line dating, and meditation taught in both her encounters with Zen Buddhism and through a borderline treatment, Dialectical Behavior Therapy.


THE DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY SKILLS WORKBOOK:  Practical DBT exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & Distress Tolerance  (2007) by Matthew McKay, Ph.D., Jeffrey C. Wood, Psy.D., and Jeffrey Brantley, M.D.

This workbook begins with basic skills and leads the reader into very effective mindfulness techniques and implementation.  Through education, daily tasks, and instructions, the reader is able to  understand  how to improve through DBT skills.


INTEGRATIVE TREATMENT FOR BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER:  Effective, Symptom-Focused Techniques, Simplified for Private Practice   (2006) John D. Preston, Psy.D., ABPP

This book is self-explanatory and informative.  It provides strategies for effective improvements  – easily implementable.  It incorporates valuable information providing both the ‘ah-ha’ moments to family members and the do-able skills training for sufferers.



While written for family and friends of those with BPD, this book is also useful for people with BPD.  Dr. Manning explains much about the inner world and experience of the person with BPD, while illustrating how intense emotional dysregulation and associated behaviors can affect relationships with family and friends.  Everyone can use DBT skills, especially validation and the emotional self-regulation techniques  to improve communication and rebuild relationships.  There is an excellent section on understanding self-harm and suicidal behaviors.  This book is especially recommended for its compassionate and non-judgmental tone.


HOW I STAYED ALIVE WHEN MY BRAIN WAS TRYING TO KILL ME:  One Person’s Guide to Suicide Prevention  by Susan Rose Blauner (2003)

This manual for those wishing to break their cycle of suicidal thoughts is written by a 3-time survivor of attempted suicide and someone who found a way out with the diagnoses of borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.  She is well acquainted with the trap of suicidal thoughts and shares her hard-earned “tricks of the trade” along with words, beliefs, and actions that can get you through those dark times.  The book is also generous in its array of additional resources, hotlines, websites, organizations and other sources of help and hope.


REMNANTS OF A LIFE: by Bea Tusiani

A mother shares the painful journey of her daughter’s struggles with borderline personality disorder. The book offers the reader the opportunity to read the first-person accounts of the challenges of the disorder with the sharing of her diaries along with a mother’s equally compelling journey .  For more details on the book, go to




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