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Psychodynamic Therapy For Co-occurring Borderline Personality Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
State University of New York - Upstate Medical University Identifier:
First received: September 1, 2005
Last updated: January 5, 2015
Last verified: January 2015
The purpose of the study is to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of a modified form of psychodynamic psychotherapy for persons suffering from co-occurring borderline personality disorder and an alcohol use disorder.

Condition Intervention Phase
Borderline Personality Disorder
Alcohol Use Disorder
Behavioral: Psychodynamic Therapy
Behavioral: Optimized Community Care
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Psychodynamic Therapy for Patients With Borderline Personality Disorder and Alcohol Abuse

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by State University of New York - Upstate Medical University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • episodes of parasuicide, alcohol intoxication, institutional care [ Time Frame: 12 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • depression, dissociation, core symptoms of borderline pd, perceived social support [ Time Frame: 12 months ]

Enrollment: 30
Study Start Date: June 2004
Study Completion Date: May 2010
Primary Completion Date: May 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: dynamic deconstructive psychotherapy
weekly individual psychotherapy of 50 minute duration lasting 12-18 months
Behavioral: Psychodynamic Therapy
Dynamic deconstructive psychotherapy is a time-limited (12-18 month) manual-based form of psychodynamic therapy that aims to remediate specific neurocognitive capacities responsible for processing of emotional experiences.
Other Name: Dynamic Deconstructive Psychotherapy
Active Comparator: optimized community care
eclectic weekly individual and group psychotherapy, as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation
Behavioral: Optimized Community Care
individual and group psychotherapy in a private practice, clinic, and/or rehab setting, with an eclectic orientation
Other Name: Treatment as Usual

Detailed Description:

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a condition that can cause significant distress and increased risk of death. Many persons with BPD also have an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and there is evidence that this can worsen the outcome and course of both disorders.

A manual-based form of psychodynamic therapy (PT), labeled dynamic deconstructive psychotherapy, has been developed for particularly challenging patients with BPD, especially those with co-occurring substance use disorders. It aims to remediate specific neurocognitive capacities that are responsible for processing of emotional experiences, and so diminishes symptoms of BPD and promotes the development of a coherent and differentiated self-structure. PT has been shown to be helpful for BPD, but has not been tested for people who have BPD with co-occurring substance use disorders.

The proposed study is a randomized controlled trial of PT for persons with BPD and co-occurring AUD that will generate some initial data that can be used to determine the need and feasibility for further outcome studies. Participants are randomized to either a study group receiving weekly PT or to a control group receiving usual care. Enrollment is 15 participants in each group. The study group will receive 12-18 months of PT, with naturalistic follow-up. Outcome measures are administered by a research assistant at enrollment, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, and 30 months.

The investigators anticipate that the PT group will show trends towards better retention in treatment and greater reduction in parasuicides, alcohol misuse, and institutional care. If so, this would have important and positive implications for the large group of patients who suffer from BPD and co-occurring AUD.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 45 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age between 18 and 45 years
  • Meets diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder and for active alcohol abuse or dependence
  • At least average intelligence

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Meets diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00145678

United States, New York
SUNY Upstate Medical University, University Hospital
Syracuse, New York, United States, 13210
Sponsors and Collaborators
State University of New York - Upstate Medical University
Principal Investigator: Robert J. Gregory, M.D. State University of New York - Upstate Medical University
  More Information

Responsible Party: State University of New York - Upstate Medical University Identifier: NCT00145678     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: SUNY UMU IRB 4968
Study First Received: September 1, 2005
Last Updated: January 5, 2015

Keywords provided by State University of New York - Upstate Medical University:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alcohol Drinking
Personality Disorders
Borderline Personality Disorder
Pathologic Processes
Drinking Behavior
Mental Disorders
Anti-Infective Agents, Local
Anti-Infective Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on May 24, 2017