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Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving for Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a potentially severely debilitating psychiatric diagnosis that may affect up to 2% of the general population. Hallmarks of BPD include impulsivity, emotional instability, and poor self-image, and those with BPD have increased risk for self-harm and suicide. Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS) brings together research findings and information on implementation and best practices for a group treatment program for outpatients with BPD. A five-month long program easily learned and delivered by therapists from a wide range of theoretical orientations, STEPPS combines cognitive behavioral therapy, emotion management and behavioral skills training, and psychoeducation with a systems component that involves professional care providers, family, friends, and significant others of persons with BPD. The book provides a detailed description of the program, reviews the body of evidence supporting its use and implementation, and describes its dissemination worldwide and in different settings. Empirical data show that STEPPS is effective and produces clinically important improvement in mood and behavior, while reducing health care utilization. Unique among programs for BPD, STEPPS has been exhaustively studied in correctional systems (both prisons and community corrections), where it is shown to be as effective as in community settings. This volume will be a valuable guide to those in psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, and the counseling professions who treat people with BPD.
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About the Author

Donald W. Black, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. He serves as Director of Residency Training and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Black is an award-winning teacher and clinician, and a leading authority on personality disorders and impulsive behavior. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is President of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists. Nancee S. Blum, M.S.W., is a psychotherapist and Adjunct Instructor of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. She is the developer of the STEPPS Treatment Program and its derivative versions (with Norm Bartels, Don St. John, and Bruce Pfohl). She also serves as a consultant and provides consultation and training for the STEPPS program in the Iowa Department of Corrections.


"Psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder is now known to be effective. But it tends to be lengthy, expensive, and unavailable. STEPPS provides a brief, cost-effective package that should be a default option for treating these difficult patients. This book, which describes the concepts, methods, and research support behind STEPPS, is timely and welcome."--Joel Paris, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, McGill University, and author, A Concise Guide to Personality Disorders"This book brings together the leading clinicians and researchers working with STEPPS across the globe and provides an essential guide to implementing a much needed front-line intervention for borderline personality disorder."--Carla Sharp, PhD, Professor and Director of Clinical Training, Department of Psychology, The University of Houston"Dr. Black and Ms. Blum have edited a very thoughtful and informative book on the STEPPS program for people with borderline personality disorder. STEPPS is a very well designed and structured treatment, which could help explain why it has been rapidly expanding in its global reach. This book reviews the compelling evidence base for the program and makes an important contribution to the care of these challenging patients."--S. Charles Schulz, MD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School"The development of STEPPS has been a godsend. Even in the age of evidence-based treatments for borderline personality disorder, the large majority of sufferers have no access to adequate care. With its intelligent focus on psychoeducation in a group setting, STEPPS has been able to fill in the gap in many areas. This book will extend that reach. STEPPS fulfills the critical public need of providing a basic treatment for BPD that is sufficient for some patients and the first step in a longer trajectory for others."--Frank E. Yeomans, MD, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and Director of Training, Personality Disorders Institute, Weill Medical College of Cornell University"In treating borderline personality disorder in community mental health settings, it is vital that evidence-based protocols for treating suicidal behavior be utilized. For treatment settings unable to implement DBT, strong consideration should be given to implementing STEPPS. For this reason, this book is recommended for those who work for or administer community mental health centers, as well mental health programs in other settings, such as correctional settings or group practices." --PsycCRITIQUES

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