Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious deficiency in a person’s behavior that is represented by unstable relationships with others, changeable emotions, and irrational sense of self. The research problem in the study by Agnew, Shannon, Ryan, Storey, and McDonnell (2016) is the analysis of BPD from the perspective of the participants. The purpose of the article is to provide an insight into the gap that exists in current research focused on exploring the self/identity concept from the individuals’ viewpoint (Agnew et al., 2016).
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The authors offer a review of the literature available on the research problem. Particularly, Agnew et al. (2016) note that there is a distinction between the concepts ‘self’ and ‘identity’ is scholarly research. Also, Agnew et al. (2016) discuss psychotherapies that have been established in recent years to find a treatment of BPD. At the core of such psychotherapies, there is the concept of multiple selves (Bateman, Ryle, Fonagy, & Kerr, 2007, as cited in Agnew et al., 2016, p. 30490). Another part of reviewed studies concerns qualitative research into the identity construct. Chiesa, Drahorad, and Longo (2000) and Miller (1994) focused their studies on identity from the participants’ perspective (as cited in Agnew et al., 2016, p. 30490).
The independent variable in the article is BPD from the participants’ perspective. The dependent variables are the themes of identity: connection, the distance between people, and pain and healing (Agnew et al., 2016). The sample consists of five participants all of whom are older than 18 and meet at least three criteria for BPD. The inclusion criterion includes intoxication or acute suicidal behavior at the time of the interview. The participants were found through mental health professionals. The latter considered the effect of the participation on their patients and then discussed the possibility of joining the study.
Data were collected by researchers through a research interview which was conducted by the first author who did not have any clinical involvement with respondents. Primarily, the interview involved three stages, but in the course of the study, it was decided to remove the last phase (Agnew et al., 2016). The duration of each interview varied between one and two hours. The interpretation of data allowed generating three major themes related to the research problem. The first theme was “connecting to myself,” the second one was “distance between us,” and the third one was “hurt and healing (Agnew et al., 2016, p. 30490). All of the themes were continuum based, which emphasized the diversity of patients’ experiences connected with BPD-associated symptoms.
The article by Agnew et al. (2016) is highly useful for the chosen profession. In clinical counseling, it is vital to know the patients’ perspectives on the disease. This holds particularly true in relation to mental illnesses, when one may not be able to express one’s feelings of thoughts clearly. The analysis of BPD from the point of view of patients can serve as a relevant source of information for professional clinical counselors in the fields of psychology and psychiatry. The implementation of the received data into practice may be performed through introducing the empowerment of health aspects of BPD patients in practice. Thus, the article by Agnew et al. (2016) has high applicability for the selected profession, and its results can be used to alleviate the symptoms of the individuals suffering from BPD.
Agnew, G., Shannon, C., Ryan, T., Storey, L., & McDonnell, C. (2016). Self-identity in women with symptoms of borderline personality: A qualitative study. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 11(1), 30490.