Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment Program (BPDTP)
Mental Health

The Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment Program (BPDTP) provides long-term (6 months or more), specialized treatment for adults with severe Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Our program is based on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and includes other therapies that have also shown evidence of being effective in treating BPD.

BPD describes a pattern of instability in mood, relationships, and behaviour. These often include relationship problems, intense negative emotions (anger, hopelessness, etc.) and self-destructive behaviours (including, but not limited to, suicidal thoughts and self-injury). People with BPD also often suffer from other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and substance-use problems.

Individuals in this program generally have received little benefit from other treatments, are frequent users of health care resources, and/or are at risk of having their symptoms worsen without specialized treatment.

The program is made up of a psychiatrist, psychologists, and other mental health professionals (including social workers, residents and students). This team helps individuals develop skills to manage their emotions, develop more meaningful relationships, and improve their overall quality of life.

Location, hours and contact information

Dr. Clyde S. Marshall Building
Nova Scotia Hospital
294 Pleasant Street
Dartmouth, NS
B2Y 3S3
Tel: 902-464-6093
Fax: 902-461-4220

Tuesday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

How do I get an appointment?

To get an appointment, you must be referred by a clinician from NSHA Mental Health and Addictions Program in Central Zone.

Upon review of your referral, you will be placed on a waitlist for an assessment. You will be contacted by the BPDTP when it is time to schedule your assessment.

Individuals must be 19 years of age and live within the Central Zone of Nova Scotia Health Authority. They must also be willing to work with the treatment team, work on difficulties, and attend and participate in all program components.

How do I prepare for my appointment?

It is recommended that you continue to be followed by your current health care providers while you are waiting for an assessment with the program.

Once an assessment appointment is booked, you will receive a questionnaire package in the mail. This will provide the assessor with an overview of your current health and treatment goals. You must complete the questionnaire before the assessment and bring it to your appointment.

What questions should I ask?

There is an opportunity to ask questions about the treatment program at the assessment appointment. You are encouraged to discuss any concerns about your participation in the program with your assessor in order to ensure this program is a good fit.

What will happen at my appointment?

Assessments are comprehensive and include a detailed interview and completion of questionnaires. Your initial assessment appointment will take between 2 and 3 hours. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to register. The purpose of the assessment is to determine if the BPDTP is the best fit for your needs. Treatment recommendations may include treatment at our clinic, treatment at another service, or specific self-help resources.

What happens after my first appointment?

The clinician who referred you for the assessment will receive a report describing the results of the assessment and recommendations. If it is determined that treatment at the BPDTP clinic is the best match for your needs, you will be placed on a waitlist for treatment. You will be contacted when a spot in our program becomes available (typically, this is within two months of your assessment).

The treatment program starts with a pre-treatment group that is four sessions long. Following completion of the pre-treatment group, individuals who wish to continue with the program will receive a schedule for individual and group sessions.

Treatment in our program is intensive and is made up of three group and one individual therapy session per week. The treatment components are as follows:

  • Individual therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills training group
  • An interpersonal process group
  • A wellness group, designed to help clients put their newly learned skills into practice and build a “life worth living.”

The treatment program is six months long. However, if you are fully participating in and benefiting from the program, this may be renewed for a second six month treatment block.

If you successfully complete two, six month treatment blocks, after a one year break from the program, you may apply to return for a third six month treatment block. In order to be considered for a third treatment block, you must be involved in a minimum of 20 hours per week of structured activity (work, school, childcare, volunteer work) and be making regular use of the skills you learned in treatment.

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