Cultural Identity in Transference and Countertransference Involving Borderline Personality Disorder

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Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a complex disorder characterized by emotional instability, interpersonal and intrapersonal difficulty, and impulsivity. As a result, there are many preconceived notions about those diagnosed with the disorder and what clinical work may entail. One way to conceptualize these preconceived notions is to consider them as a form of countertransference. Clients with BPD are more likely to evoke countertransference reactions from the clinicians that work with them than clients presenting with other disorders. Countertransference reactions in clinical work with the diagnosis may stem from various sources, including transference reactions and cultural identity. The current literature review explores BPD, countertransference, transference, cultural identity, and how these constructs interrelate in clinical work with BPD. Results revealed overall challenges in identifying articles for the present review was the lack of studies jointly focused on the constructs under review. To effectively address the interplay of culture, transference, and countertransference in cases involving BPD it was necessary to draw conclusions by piecing together the findings of studies often not intended to focus on one or more of these variables. Implications for clinical practice and training, and recommended future directions for research will be discussed.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Psychology
Clinical Psychology