Family Connections

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) affects the whole family. When a loved one has borderline personality disorder, suffers from extreme emotions, self-harm, suicidality, and a pattern of unstable relationships, family and loved ones may suffer a great deal. Since BPD can include a pattern of intense and stormy relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, they may be on the roller coaster of extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation). Changeable moods, high-risk behavior, suicidality and intense anger are often part of life for a person with BPD and in turn, becomes part of life for those who love them. Families of people with BPD may benefit from support, skills training and sometimes their own therapy. The challenges of dealing with an ill relative on a daily basis can be very stressful, and family members may unknowingly act in ways that negatively impact their relative. Family Connections™ is a free group program facilitated by highly trained family members that focuses on the needs of family members.

The Family Connections™ Program

Family Connections™ is a FREE 12-week course that meets weekly to provide education, skills training, and support for people who are in a relationship with someone who has BPD. Focusing on issues that are specific to BPD, it is hosted by trained group leaders (Dr. Alan Fruzzetti and Dr. Perry Hoffman developed the course based on their research as well as their significant professional expertise in counseling people with BPD and their loved ones. Family Connections provides: current information and research on BPD and on family functioning; individual coping skills based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); family skills; and group support that builds an ongoing network for family members.

Family Connections™ is coordinated by the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA.BPD) and is based on research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. It reflects a decade of professionally led Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) family groups that are community based and led by trained family members. Survey data from previous courses show that after completing the course, family members experience decreased feelings of depression, burden, and grief, and more feelings of empowerment.

Family Connections™ at DBT Center of Orange County

This is a FREE 12 week course that requires pre-registration. Please click the following link for more information and to apply!

Helpful videos can also be found on NEABPD’s YouTube Channel!