Treatment & Therapy

Should I Choose Residential or Outpatient BPD Treatment?

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If you’re seeking treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), you will most likely find yourself choosing between residential BPD treatment and outpatient BPD treatment.

If you don’t know the difference between the two, making a decision between residential and outpatient Borderline Personality Disorder treatment can leave you feeling confused. Here are some things you should know about the differences between residential BPD treatment and outpatient BPD treatment so that your decision may come a bit easier.

Residential BPD Treatment

Residential treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder may be the best option if you exhibit severe BPD symptoms, such as making suicide attempts, self-harming, or demonstrating psychotic behavior. At a BPD residential treatment center, you will be in a safe environment where you can be monitored by treatment professionals who will help you address your behaviors.

During your time at residential treatment for BPD, which typically lasts at least 30 days, you will participate in extensive individual BPD therapy, group therapy, and experiential therapies, such as yoga therapy and art therapy. You will be provided the structure needed to manage your symptoms and learn healthy ways to cope before returning to your regular home environment.

A good residential treatment center for BPD will provide a soothing living environment, needed amenities, and a highly trained staff. You should take the time to visit a couple of residential treatment centers before making a decision to get a feel for the environment, including the surrounding neighborhood, and the staff.

Research shows that longer-term residential treatment is most effective if the treatment center offers specialized services geared toward people diagnosed with BPD. If you are leaning toward residential treatment, find a residential treatment center for Borderline Personality Disorder that has staff trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a method of therapy developed specifically for BPD treatment.

Outpatient BPD Treatment

If the severity of your BPD symptoms doesn’t merit residential treatment, outpatient Borderline Personality Disorder treatment can offer many of the same benefits. With outpatient BPD treatment, you’ll be able to maintain much of your daily routine and return to the comfort of your own home at night.

Outpatient BPD treatment programs also provide stabilization through therapeutic support, structure, group therapy, and peer support. Many also offer vocational opportunities that can help BPD patients with poor academic or job histories.

Many people enter outpatient treatment after completing time in residential treatment for BPD. The length of time spent in outpatient BPD treatment can vary depending on your needs and your daily schedule. A good outpatient BPD treatment program should include DBT. 

Guidelines for Effective BPD Treatment

Whether you choose residential or outpatient treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder, here are some guidelines for effective treatment that you should look for when seeking any BPD treatment:

  • Structure. People with BPD benefit from an active schedule that helps them organize where to go and what to do.
  • Education about BPD, including what it is, what causes it, available treatments for it, and ways to prevent relapse after receiving treatment.
  • The availability of medication to manage specific BPD symptoms.
  • How often individual and group therapy is offered, as well as the types of therapy offered. An effective Borderline Personality Disorder treatment center will offer a variety of groups and treatment modalities, including DBT.

If you are struggling with a co-occurring disorder, such as substance abuse, an anxiety disorder, depression, an eating disorder, or Bipolar Disorder, find a treatment center that can treat these mental health disorders along with your BPD for treatment that is even more effective. 

Whichever treatment you choose, know that it often a long-term commitment to fully recover from Borderline Personality Disorder. Recovery is dependent upon both adequate and appropriate treatment and support, as well as you being ready to actively participate in your BPD treatment.

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