Kuritárné Szabó, I.: Borderline Personality Disorder, Symptomatology, Aetiology, Therapy

2008, 2016 Budapest, Medicina. ISBN 978 963 226 121 8

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by Edit Végvári 

A long awaited summary of all there is to know about a controversial and biased personality disorder: borderline.

The systematic overview leaves no room for ambiguity and misunderstandings and by clearing notions, explaining dynamics, exploring roots, it dissolves the myth (present even among clinicians) and replaces it by profound comprehension. And as such, the author, who combines the merits of a clinical practitioner and an academic scholar, offers tools for treatment and hope for healing.

The Hungarian psychological community is scarce on available literature on BPD in Hungarian. What makes this compelling work all the more welcome is its uniqueness in summarizing all the major schools treating this disorder instead of focusing on the view of one particular approach. The sophisticated elaboration of applied therapeutic techniques such as DBT, CBT, TFP, mentalisation or schema therapy as well as the basic models of interpretation offered by major theorists including Kernberg, Linehan, Benjamin, Ryle, Fonagy, Gunderson, Clarkin, Young, Freeman and Fusco (among others) renders the book a compendium of state-of-the-art knowledge on this disorder.

The monograph follows a didactic lead on various aspects of BPD, highlighting diagnostic classification, epidemiology, comorbidity, differential diagnosis, course of the disorder, therapeutic implications, prognosis and temporal characteristics, various models of aetiology, psychodiagnostics, therapy, psychoeducation, and treatment settings.

The significance of this comprehensive work on borderline personality disorder is highlighted by epidemiological data reflecting the high (and probably increasing) prevalence of BPD in the clinical population. The chapter on aetiology gives a possible explanation of this trend as well as provides a framework for the conceptualisation of the pathology of borderline patients, while also emphasizing novel results of empirical research showing the significance of childhood traumatisation. Diagnostic criteria of DSM-IV are highlighted from a clinical perspective with case extracts, rendering the book a practical guideline for recognising less obvious cases. Treating the – in the case of borderline personality disorder highly relevant - issue of co-morbidity further enhances diagnostic clarity. The psychotherapist author also provides a mature view on various therapeutic approaches with special attention to priorities specific to the borderline personality disorder in contrast to the treatment of neurotic or other, less deficit-oriented cases.

The author is endowed not only with scientific precision and sophisticated skill for the scholarly presentation of the various schools but also demonstrates the empathy gained from real-life experience with borderline patients in a clinical practice. The resulting tone of narration combining objective approach with the warmth of compassion reflects the atmosphere of the treatment setting. This is how the monograph becomes a reliable manual for the psychotherapy of patients with borderline personality disorder.


Kuritárné Szabó I., Tisljár-Szabó E. (eds.): I Wish I Hadn't Been Hurt, Intrafamilial Childhood Traumatisation and its Consequences: Theory and Practice

2015, Oriold Books. Budapest ISBN 978-963-9771-34-5


 by Edit Végvári

The monograph is first of its kind in Hungary in terms of targeting traumatisation and its psychological consequences from the hands-on perspective of practicing clinicians. The book provides a thorough theoretical framework for the interpretation of patients with intrafamilial childhood traumatisation, also giving insight into psychotherapeutic techniques through the lens of individual therapy cases.

The state-of-the-art psychotherapeutic approach is supported by empirical research, the results of which demonstrate the neurobiological and psychological aftermath of childhood abuse, with special attention to personality and dissociative disorders, psychotic conditions, developmental deficits, antisocial behaviour, chronic disease and higher mortality, the phenomena of which are presented in the book chapters in detail. The authors also give an overview of the categorisation of trauma, describing quite specific subtypes, such as male sexual traumatisation, postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder or the adverse experiences of children taken into state custody.

The book can also serve as a practice guideline highlighting characteristics, aims, stages, key aspects and potential pitfalls of the therapeutic process in trauma cases, with special focus on treating structural dissociation of the self along the above mentioned mental conditions arising from maltreatment and abuse. Reports of highly efficient tools of psychotraumatology, i.e. EMDR-technique and GAI (Guided Affective Imagery) also support/reinforce/declare/express the mission statement of the authors that even the most severe form of trauma, long-lasting intrafamilial childhood abuse, has the healing potential of post-traumatic growth.