Borderline Personality Disorder: Theory, Research, and Treatment


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04 May 2021
10:00 AM -12:00 PM


Online via Zoom


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) has been a challenging mystery for many clinicians over the decades. People with BPD experience intense personal suffering, have high rates of self-injury and suicidal behaviour, and heavily utilize health services. As such, it is critical for clinicians to be able to understand and help people with BPD.

In this talk, I aim to clarify what BPD is and how this serious and complex disorder might develop. I will also describe the effective treatment of BPD, focusing on dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), as well as some of the latest research on DBT (some of which was recently conducted at Simon Fraser University).

Learning Objectives:

  1. To describe the biosocial developmental theory of the development of BPD.
  2. To describe the structure and some key principles of dialectical behaviour therapy.
  3. To describe some of the latest research on DBT.

About the Presenter:

Alexander L. Chapman, Ph.D., R.Psych. is a professor in the psychology department at Simon Fraser University (SFU), a registered psychologist, and president of the DBT Centre of Vancouver.

He completed his undergraduate degree at U.B.C., his M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Idaho State University (APA accredited), and his predoctoral internship at Duke University Medical Center. After completing a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington, he joined the faculty at SFU in 2005, where he established the Personality and Emotion Research Laboratory.

His research focuses on complex psychopathology such as borderline personality disorder (BPD), emotion regulation problems, self-injury, and related areas. Dr. Chapman has received several grants (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, among others) for translational and treatment outcome research.

Recently, Dr. Chapman was Co-PI for a large, multi-site randomized trial to date comparing a briefer (6-month) versus standard (12-month) length of DBT for suicidal or self-harming individuals with BPD. He has authored/co-authored over 100 refereed journal articles/book chapters and 11 books.

He has also received the Young Investigator’s Award of the National Alliance for BPD (2007), the Canadian Psychological Association’s Early Career Scientist Practitioner Award (2011), a Career Investigator Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, and a Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence (at SFU).

Dr. Chapman is a member of the CIHR College of Reviewers and a fellow of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the Canadian Association for Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CACBT). He co-founded the DBT Centre of Vancouver, a treatment centre emphasizing the care of people with complex mental health problems, from an evidence-based CBT and DBT perspective.

He greatly enjoys teaching and training clinicians and students in effective treatments for complex clinical problems. He has over 15 years of experience training and consulting for multi-year projects to implement DBT across large community and correctional mental health systems. He also is board certified in both cognitive behavioural therapy (CACBT) and DBT (Linehan Board of Certification and Accreditation) and serves on credentialing committees for CBT and DBT.

Outside of work, Dr. Chapman has experience practicing and teaching martial arts and has been practicing mindfulness from a Zen perspective for 20 years. He enjoys exercising (hiking, running, martial arts), reading (actual books), consuming chocolate, cheese, and red wine, and spending time with his wonderful family.


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