BPD Affects The Whole Family

When a loved one has borderline personality disorder, family and loved ones often suffer quite a bit. Since BPD can include a pattern of intense and stormy relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, they may be on the roller coaster of extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation). Changeable moods, high-risk behavior, suicidality and intense anger are often part of life for a person with BPD and thus, they become part of life for those who love him or her. Families of people with BPD may benefit from support, skills training and sometimes their own therapy. The challenges of dealing with an ill relative on a daily basis can be very stressful, and family members may unknowingly act in ways that negatively impact their relative. Family Connections™ is a free group program (run by family members themselves who have been trained) that focuses on the needs of family members. It is available in locations throughout the US as well as through teleconference.

The Family Connections™ Program

Family Connections™ is a free 12-week course that meets weekly to provide education, skills training, and support for people who are in a relationship with someone who has BPD. Focusing on issues that are specific to BPD, it is hosted in a community setting and led by trained group leaders who are usually family members of relatives with BPD. Dr. Alan Fruzzetti and Dr. Perry Hoffman developed the course based on their research as well as their significant professional expertise in counseling people with BPD and their loved ones. Family Connections provides: current information and research on BPD and on family functioning; individual coping skills based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); family skills; and group support that builds an ongoing network for family members.

Family Connections™ Brochure & Flyer

A brochure and flyer highlighting the Family Connections™ Program course content and intended audience of this 12-week research based program are below.

Click on the image to view or download the brochure.

Learn More

Read a first hand description of the Family Connections™ course published in Recovery Today

“Borderline Personality Disorder: A View from the Inside.”

I want to know more about Family Connections.

Access the following resource: Videos of family education workshops


Family Connections™ is coordinated by the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD) and is based on research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. It reflects a decade of professionally led Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) family groups that are community based and led by trained family members. Survey data from previous courses show that after completing the course, family members experience decreased feelings of depression, burden, and grief, and more feelings of empowerment.

The Family Connections™ program includes:

  • Education and research about BPD
  • Skills training based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Family Skills
  • Teaching and learning of treatment theories and practices, and the latest research findings on BPD
  • Support for parents, spouses, children, and siblings of someone with BPD
  • The latest knowledge and skills to enable the well being of participants.

Course content focuses on:

  • Education on BPD
  • Research on BPD
  • Family Perspectives and Experiences
  • Relationship Mindfulness Skills
  • Emotion Regulation Skills
  • Effective Communication Skills
  • Validation Skills
  • Problem Management Skills

Family TeleConnections (TLC)

New Family Connections™ leaders are trained to lead the 12-week course during a weekend retreat.  This course is available in many locations across the country.