Good Psychiatric Management for Borderline Personality Disorder :

A Tool for Frontline Workers


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is common and challenging diagnosis for most professionnal, due to the nature of its symptoms and its complexity. Despite several widely held prejudices, this mental health disorder is now recognized for its good prognosis and favorable response to many evidence-based psychotherapies. Good Psychiatric Management (GPM) was developed by Dr. John Gunderson, as a generalist approach to treating BPD that could be used widely and implemented by any health provider.


This 1-day workshop offers training in GPM. This treatment has been empirically shown to be nearly as effective as Dialectic Behavioral Therapy across different outcomes such as reducing distress, suicidal behavior and overall BPD symptoms. It contrasts many manualized treatments for BPD, which emphasize lengthy complex psychotherapies aimed at bringing about deep psychological changes. This workshop focuses on the majority of individuals with BPD who are not seeking such psychotherapies, and to the majority of professionals who are neither primarily psychotherapists nor BPD specialists. It is intended for practitioners to be able to offer evidenced-based treatment for people with BPD, without referring out.


Training clinicians in this modality offers the opportunity to better their skills and effectively help these struggling individuals. In contrast to specialized BPD treatments that require high cost and time commitments, training in GPM involves only one six-hour course. Not only is it easy to learn, but GPM training has been shown to reduce avoidance, dislike, and hopelessness about the care of individuals with BPD while improving feelings of competence and beliefs in the efficacy of BPD treatments and the capacity to make positive differences, even six months after the training. Improved attitudes towards BPD likely influence how hypersensitive individuals with BPD experience their clinicians, which can affect retention and the therapeutic alliance. Training in GPM may increase access to care by fostering generalists’ optimism that they can effectively treat individuals with BPD.


Dr. Choi-Kain will teach the basics of what professionals who work with individuals with BPD can do to become more capable and comfortable in working with this population. Management strategies involving practicality, good sense and flexibility will be emphasized. Techniques and interventions that facilitate patient/client trust and willingness to be proactive collaborators will be described. Guidelines for how to approach the common and usually most burdensome issues of managing suicidality and self-harm will be reviewed. Content will also include how and when a patient/client can usefully integrate group, family intervention or be refereed to specialized clinics.


Dr. Choi-Kain will present dynamic cases, video clips, and clinical vignettes to promote interactive learning and a comprehensive understanding of the approach. There will be ample time for questions. Previous participants to her workshops have reportedly noted improvements in their ability and confidence when workings with people with BPD while applying GPM key principles.


About Invited Speaker Dr. Lois Choi-Kain 

Dr. Lois Choi-Kain is the director of the Adult Borderline Center and Training Institute at McLean Hospital. In 2009, she developed the Gunderson Residence, an intensive, specialized residential program for adult women with severe personality disorders which uniquely integrates multiple evidence-based treatments for borderline personality disorder (BPD) in a rigorous and scientifically informed way. This Center includes intensive specialized programs such as Gunderson Residence and Gunderson Outpatient Program as well as three adult outpatient training clinics for Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and DBT for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Dr. Choi-Kain also founded the BPD Training Institute in 2013, a major center for evidence-based treatments for severe personality disorders. By providing education to clinicians, it aims to increase access to and quality of care for patients with BPD and related comorbidities. The Adult Borderline Center and Training Institute are now renamed the Gunderson Personality Disorder Institute, in memory and honor of Dr. John Gunderson, with whom she worked alongside most of her career.


In addition, as an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Choi-Kain actively conducts research and publishes original studies, reviews, and clinical perspectives on BPD and its evidence-based treatments. Her research focuses on personality disorders, attachment, psychotherapy, and accessibility and implementation of care. 


Target Audience

Physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, psychoeducators, occupational therapist, and other professionnals.



At the conclusion of the day, participants will be able to:

1) Explain the diagnosis to patients/clients and families and establish reasonable expectations for change;

2) Manage the problem of recurrent suicidality and self-harm;

3) Use the core components of GPM as a basic approach to clinical management of individuals with BPD;

4) Recognize when to prioritize BPD symptoms vs. a comorbid disorder, and when to refer to BPD specialists.  



Organizing Committee:

Ronald Fraser, Psychiatrist, Director fo the Extended-Care Clinic of the MUHC Personality Disorders Program

Lori Isaif, OT Psychotherapist, MUHC Personality Disorders Program

Lise Laporte, Psychologist, MUHC Personality Disorders Program

Emily Loranger, Nurse Clinician, Jewish General Hospital

Joel Paris, Psychiatrist, Director of the Short-term Clinic of the Jewish General Hospital and the MUHC Personality Disorders Program


A conference accredited for continuing education in psychotherapy by the Ordre des psychologues du Québec.

No of accreditation OPQ : RA03284-20



The best option for getting to the conference located at McGill's New Residence on Park Avenue is public transportation. The Residence is located a 10-minute walk from the Place des Arts metro station. Paid parking is available on Park Avenue


June 5 2020

McGill New Residence Hall Ballroom
3625 Avenue du Parc
Montréal, Québec
Canada, H2X 3P8

Contact organizers