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Many of the severe behavioral difficulties observed among persons with BPD (e.g., self-harm, suicidal behaviors) have been conceptualized as attempts to avoid or escape unwanted emotional experiences. As such, experiential avoidance likely plays a prominent role in the difficulties faced by persons with BPD. Individuals with BPD have demonstrated heightened levels of experiential avoidance in several studies. Several key features of BPD may contribute to experiential avoidance among persons with BPD, including a vulnerability to negative or distressing emotions, difficulty regulating emotions, and distress intolerance. Some research also suggests that a vulnerability to negative emotions among persons with BPD may be partly due to the use of experiential avoidance strategies to cope with emotional experiences. Within this paper, we review the literature on experiential avoidance and possible mechanisms underlying experiential avoidance among persons with BPD, and discuss the research and clinical implications of this literature.
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- Experiential Avoidance and Emotion Regulation in Borderline Personality Disorder
Alexander L. Chapman
Katherine L. Dixon-Gordon
Kristy N. Walters
- Springer US
Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
Print ISSN: 0894-9085
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-6563