Authors: Julia Lo Nigro, Jacqueline Mackinnon, and Catherine Phan, VIC
Event: 2009 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Young women with Borderline Personality Disorder , CONSUMERS, WORKING IN PARTNERSHIPS
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Young women with Borderline Personality Disorder can be characterised as having emotional, interpersonal, behavioural, identity and cognitive dysregulation (Denman, 2001; Linehan, 1993; Bateman and Fonagy, 2006). Sugar and Spice is a young women’s group created by a partnership between Neami Darebin and Chiron, a program of Mind. It was designed with the intent of developing a specific facilitation style and model to meet the needs of young women with mental health issues. The group included young women who experienced substance abuse, trauma, low socio-economic status and engaged in self harming behaviour. Facilitators were participant-observers and strove to provide a safe and supportive environment where group members explore new behaviours through reflective practice and feedback. An evaluator assisted facilitators to debrief after sessions, recognise patterns of group dynamics and anticipate changes in group needs. Over time clients developed and tested new ways of relating to others, became more mindful of their identity in relation to the group and expanded their skills and behavioural repertoire. The collaboration exemplifies the potential and benefits for mental health interagency work. This paper presents a number of themes which can be utilised across different community settings when working with clients with diagnoses of borderline personality disorder.