Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This study was undertaken in order to examine the insight and treatment of borderline personality disorder by cognitive-behavioral therapist Marsha Linehan, and psychoanalyst Otto Kernberg. The report considers the two theorists' beliefs on the importance of individual temperament and invalidating environment towards the development of borderline personality. It then focuses on the modified treatments that the two theorists have developed to work with this population, specifically Linehan's Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Kernberg's Transference Focused Psychotherapy. The study looks at the difficulties encountered by Linehan and Kernberg in working with this population, and then concentrates on the strengths and weaknesses that are brought to the work by the two clinicians. The study concludes that both theorists have different fortes to bring to this work, and each is equally, albeit differently, critical for the progression of appropriate treatment for borderline individuals in clinical social work.


iii, 109 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 102-108).