Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Witnesses of the wounded soul: A pilot exploratory mixed-method study about therapists' experiences working with individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder
by Langer, Kaelyn Claire, Ph.D., Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 2013, 190; 3589675
Abstract (Summary)

This study explored therapists' experiences working with individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Further, it hypothesized that clinician spirituality might positively influence their experience of working with this clinical population. An embedded mixed-methods design was used in this pilot study. Participants were licensed clinicians currently working with at least two clients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Participants completed a semistructured interview, which was analyzed using thematic analysis, and were administered two quantitative scales, the Spiritual Orientation Inventory (SOI) and the Assessment of Spirituality and Religious Sentiments (ASPIRES). Quantitative data were analyzed through SPSS (Version 17) for descriptions and correlations, and were used to support themes that emerged from the qualitative semistructured interview analysis. Thematic analysis resulted in twelve main themes specific to therapists' experiences of working with individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Specifically, therapists experienced this work as challenging, rewarding, and providing a sense of meaning to their lives. Quantitative analysis suggested that therapists sampled in this study were more spiritual as compared with normative sample scores. Embedded mixed-methods analysis did not provide a significant correlation between therapists' experiences and their spirituality. Implications of this study include validating and valuing therapists' experiences in their work with this clinical population. Further, this research provided evidence that therapists found personal practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and prayer to be supportive of their experiences working with individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pilato, Ron
Commitee: Fisher, Jan, Friedman, Philip
School: Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
Department: Residential Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Personality psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: Borderline, Borderline personality disorder, Clinical psychology, Spirituality, Therapeutic alliance, Therapist experience
Publication Number: 3589675
ISBN: 9781303287015
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