Portrait of a Woman Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, incorporating a Morenian Perspective

My desire to write this article was driven by two issues in my mind. Firstly, I had a desire to get to know more thoroughly Ailsa, the client featured in this article who is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I perceived that writing was one way I could achieve this. By “more thoroughly” I mean that I wanted to elucidate in a written form how her life events were connected to and influenced the growth of particular aspects of these disorders. Secondly, I wanted to integrate concepts from various psychological or psychiatric perspectives with my thinking as a psychodramatist.

I attempt to demonstrate how a sense of intrinsic badness can develop in a person who becomes personality disordered. This sense of intrinsic badness has been defined as the Alien Self which can be found in many people with severe BPD. Psychodrama’s developmental theory of roles is presented and extended, in conjunction with the concept of the Alien Self. I am keen for readers from the psychodrama community and others to reflect on the content of the article and to consider the relevance of the ideas presented for their own work. I would like this article to be a contribution to a dialogue in psychodrama thinking on various psychiatric mental states and their aetiology through the psychodrama lens.

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