From Diagnosis Towards a Developmental and Relational approach to Borderline Personality Disorder

How Integrative psychotherapists work with clients with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder

The Question

How do Integrative psychotherapists, in the early stages of therapy, work with clients who present with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder?

Taking part

I am asking you to participate in a grounded theory research project that will aim to explore your work with clients who have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.

This research project will form my dissertation for my final year of study of my MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy at the Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute (SPTI). Following successful completion of the master’s degree, and if accepted and with your consent, your involvement will also contribute to a peer-reviewed journal article.


This study will be conducted within the SPTI Ethical Guidelines for Counselling Research and Psychotherapy and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s (BACP) Ethical guidelines for researching counselling and psychotherapy (both available on request) at all times and will be monitored and supervised by my course tutors and programme director within SPTI.

What Will Happen?

Being a research participant within this study will require you to undertake a 1:1 interview with myself, the researcher.

As the interviews are later transcribed and analysed by myself, there may be further contact from me to clarify or explore further any emerging themes. This could include additional recorded interviews or communication and discussion by email.


Interviews will take place either at my private practice in Nottingham city centre, or another suitable location mutually agreed between us. Alternatively, (and currently more likely due to coronavirus) interviews can be held online using video conferencing software (Zoom - see for further information about this software).


A convenient time and date will be agreed between us, and the interview will be electronically recorded on a digital voice recording device or using the video conferencing software if we are meeting online. The interview will be approximately 1 hour in duration. 

The Interview

I will be asking you about your work with clients who have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, and in particular, focusing on the early stages of therapy.


  • How do you conceptualise the Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis?
  • What theories inform your conceptualisation?
  • Do you share any part of this with your client, and if so, how?
  • How does this then shape the therapy or any specific interventions?
  • What do you think are the benefits of reformulating the diagnosis in this way?
  • Does this process differ from your work with other clients?

Your Right To Withdraw

You have the right to withdraw your consent to use your interview transcript at any time up to 31st December 2020. If you decide this, the transcript and recordings will be destroyed confidentially and safely in line with SPTI and BACP Ethical Guidelines, and none of your information will be used in the published research.

After the cut-off date

After 31st December 2020, it will not be possible to remove your data from the research analysis completely, however you can withdraw from any further involvement at any time.  A copy of the final research project can also be sent to you once completed, at your request. 

Time Commitment

The research project will require you to attend one interview of approximately 1 hour in duration. There may be further contact from me following this to clarify or explore further the emerging themes of the research. This could include an additional recorded interview or discussions by email.

Your Rights

Your participation in this research project is entirely voluntary. You can decide to stop being a part of the research study at any time, and you will not need to offer any explanation.

At any time up to 31st December 2020, you may request that any data you have supplied be withdrawn and destroyed, which will be done so in line with SPTI and BACP Ethical Guidelines. After this time, your data will not be removed from the study, but any future involvement will cease.

During any interviews or discussion, you may stop at any point. 

Costs and Reimbursment

Your participation in this study is voluntary, and no expenses or other costs incurred by you can be reimbursed. 

Confidentiality and anonymity

I will transcribe all information provided by you during the interview, and all identifiable information will be removed during this process. Your confidentiality will be maintained at all times in line with SPTI and BACP ethical guidelines, and no identifiable information will be kept after the transcribing process has occurred. The original recordings will be destroyed confidentially.

Dissertation Publication

The final research project with all of your identifiable information removed, once submitted and accepted will be published as my dissertation research project, and a bound hard copy of this project will reside in the SPTI library on their premises. 

Further Publication

Following successful completion of the master’s degree, and if accepted and your consent received, your involvement will also contribute to a peer-reviewed journal article.

Data Retention

Your anonymised transcripts will need to be retained by myself as the researcher until the date after which the examining board have sat in 2021. For journal publication, your transcripts will be retained for a further twelve months. Transcripts will then be destroyed confidentially in line with the SPTI and BACP ethical guidelines.

More Information

If you like to talk with me or have any other questions, please (get in touch)[]. You can also contact me at, telephone 0115 7722132, or mobile 07519 821746.