TO STEPPS FOR BPD
We offer treatment programs for Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotional Intensity Difficulties. The programs we offer are:
- Group format
- Cognitive behavioral+ skills training
- Confronts early schemas (mental filters)
- Systems approach
- Includes support team
STEPPS Program Has
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) has been described as a disorder of emotional regulation. A person with this disorder often experiences very intense emotions and has difficulty regulating them. STEPPS (Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving) is a manual-guided teaching program. In the STEPPS manual, BPD is often referred to as Emotional Intensity Disorder (EID). Participants learn about the behaviors and feelings that define BPD/EID and learn various emotion management and behavioral skills to help manage the disorder.
Participants learn a new "language" to use in thinking about their disorder and communicate about the disorder with others in their "system" - the people with whom they share information about their disorder and what they are learning in the program.
These might be health care professionals, family members, significant others, and/or close friends. We refer to those people as a "reinforcement team." As part of the STEPPS program, there is at least one education session for those identified as reinforcement team members.
STEPPS focuses on the present rather than the past. The past cannot be changed, but the skills learned in this program can help make the present and the future a more positive experience. Participants work on changing how they think about themselves, the world, and other people. They also work on specific lifestyle behaviors such as eating, sleep patterns, exercise, leisure activities, physical health, and relationships.
Attending a STEPPS group is similar to attending a class (although usually taught in a group setting, the materials can also be used in individual therapy if someone cannot participate in a group). Typically, a treatment group meets once a week for two hours, for 20 weeks. The group leader(s) are the teachers and the students' group members.
Members receive an outline of the lesson each week and workbook materials for each session, including a homework assignment to complete before the next meeting. After the first few lessons, group members are encouraged to help with some of the teaching activities if they are comfortable doing this.
Besides the written materials, the lessons also use songs, poetry, art activities, and relaxation exercises. If a member has an exceptional talent for writing poems or creating artwork, they may enjoy sharing them with the group when it fits into the material being discussed. The STEPPS manual contains poems and pictures contributed by previous participants.
If working with an individual therapist, group members are encouraged to take their STEPPS materials to their individual therapy sessions and ask their therapist to help reinforce what they are learning in the STEPPS program.