Information for Friends and Family Members

It can be challeging to love someone with Borderline Personality Disorder or emotional dysregulation. The Missoula DBT Collaborative is interested in providing support to friends and family members as well as to those who struggle with these conditions. 

Friends and family members of people with Borderline Personality Disorder or emotional dysregulation may benefit from individual or family therapy with one of our providers to learn how to deal with the stressors of living with someone who experiences mental illness. 

We also offer a free 12-week Family Connections program online through the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD). Please contact Renee McGrath for more information about Family Connections classes, dates, and how to sign up. 

First, it is important to be aware that there is a lot of inaccurate (and sometimes disrespectful) information about Borderline Personality Disorder online. For reliable information about BPD, we recommend the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD). For information about DBT, we suggest Behavioral Tech.

These books may also be helpful to guide you in interacting with an adult friend or family member with BPD or emotional dysregulation:

Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder: How to Keep Out-of-Control Emotions from Destroying Your Relationship by Shari Y. Manning

Don’t Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training by Karen Pryor

It can be especially difficult to have a child or adolescent with emotional dysregulation. The Missoula DBT Collaborative is hoping to begin offering services to adolescents and their families sometime in 2021.

In the meantime, here are some resources you may find helpful:

The Power of Validation: Arming Your Child Against Bullying, Peer Pressure, Addiction, Self-Harm, and Out-of-Control Emotions 
by Karyn D. Hall and Melissa Cook

Explosive Child, The: A New Approach For Understanding And Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross W. Greene

Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Help Your Child Regulate Emotional Outbursts and Aggressive Behaviors by Pat Harvey and Jeanine Penzo

Parenting a Teen Who Has Intense Emotions: DBT Skills to Help Your Teen Navigate Emotional and Behavioral Challenges 
by Pat Harvey and Britt H. Rathbone

The Mindfulness Solution for Intense Emotions by Cedar R. Koons

Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

The Uncontrollable Child: Understand and Manage Your Child’s Disruptive Moods with Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills by Matis Miller

Other agencies in Missoula that offer services to children and adolescents in crisis include:

Providence St. Patrick Hospital: Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program

Shodair Children’s Hospital: Outpatient Services