Selected Books and Publications
These books have been selected because they provide great, user-friendly introductions to BPD and balance both the needs of the family members and those of the sufferers. If you have a particular favorite that is not on this list, please feel free to be in touch and recommend it!
Eye-Opening and Inspirational First Person Accounts of Living with and Recovering from BPD
Please note that every person is unique and your relative may not be experiencing the exact same slew of symptoms and dysregulation described in the following books. Their path to recovery may be different as well; however, these books are still worth reading because they provide crucial and potentially life-changing insights into how those living with BPD generally emote and think. So please be curious and observe what is actually happening in your loved one’s life before applying everything you read to them.
Kiera Van Gelder’s The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Buddhism and Online Dating (2010)
Beyond Borderline: True Stories of Recovery from BPD. Eds. John Gunderson & Perry Hoffman (2016). This book contains 14 essays written by people living with and recovering from BPD.
See too Debbie Corso’s book cited below and several others she has written since then.
Alex Chapman & Kim Gratz’s The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living with BPD (2007), with an introduction by the founder of the NEABPD, Perry Hoffman.
Shari Y. Manning’s Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (2011).
Valerie Porr’s Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change (2010). Unlike many of the other books in this list, Porr’s book focuses on correct mentallization.
See Alan Fruzzetti’s High-Conflict Couple below which according to the author can be re-imagined as applying to any combination of a family member and a BPD sufferer.
For Family Members of Children with Intense Emotions
Pat Harvey & Jeanine A. Penzo’s Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions (2009)
For Family Members of Teenagers with BPD and Severe Emotional Dysregulation
Blaise Aguirre’s Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents : What To Do When Your Teen Has BPD: A Complete Guide for Families (2014)
Michael Hollander’s Helping Teens Who Cut : Using DBT Skills to End Self-Injury (2017)
Pat Harvey & Britt Rathbone’s Parenting a Teenager Who Has Intense Emotions: DBT Skills to Help Your Teen Navigate Emotional and Behavioral Challenges (2015)
As far as we know there are no books written specifically for siblings. Does that make siblings feel invisible and neglected? I bet it does! So if you are a sibling or a parent of one, please write a book or check out our page on Parenting Well-Siblings and follow the links.
For Partners, Ex-Partners, or Spouses of People with BPD
Anthony Walker’s The Siren’s Dance: My Marriage to a Borderline: A case study (2003)
Alan E. Fruzzetti’s The High-Conflict Couple: A Dialectical Behavior Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy, and Validation (2006)
For Children of Parents with BPD
Kimberlee Roth & Freda B. Friedman’s Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds and Build Trust, Boundaries and Self-Esteem (2004)
For People Experiencing BPD
Alexander Chapman & Kim Gratz’s Borderline Personality Disorder: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed (2013)
Blaise Agguire & Gillian Gale’s Coping with BPD: DBT and CBT Skills to Soothe the Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (2015)
Debbie Corso’s Stronger than BPD: The Girl’s Guide to Taking Control of Intense Emotions, Drama, and Chaos Using DBT (2017), with an introduction by Gillian Gale.
Discussing BPD, in particular, and Mental Illness, in general, with Children
Rachel Rashkin-Shoot’s An Umbrella for Alex (2012). Written to be read with a therapist, parent, or other trusted adult, the story of Alex reassures affected children that they did not cause and are not responsible for the volatile behavior of their parent.
Jessie Shepherd’s Millie the Cat Has Borderline Personality Disorder (2016). Millie the Cat has Borderline Personality Disorder is a picture book that takes a unique look at the positive and negative characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder as Mille shares her day with you. For a book-reading, see Emotions Matter’s volunteer Rivka Lubin.