Metacognitive interpersonal therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: A single case study

Giampaolo Salvatore*, Lorena Bianchi, Luisa Buonocore, Nadia Disturco, Angus Macbeth, Nicoletta Manfredi, Paolo Ottavi, Raffaele Popolo, Maria Grazia Proto, Giancarlo Dimaggio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe disease, characterized by severe instabilities in identity, affect and relationships. Clinical improvement of BPD can be facilitated by psychotherapy aimed at tackling multiple specific cross-modality impairments and their patterns of interaction: impaired sense of self, maladaptive interpersonal schemas, impaired metacognition, emotion dysregulation and impulsivity. Herein, we describe the steps in the treatment of a young woman meeting the criteria for with BPD with paranoid traits, successfully treated with Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy, a treatment based on comprehensive assessment of domains. In the initial phase, treatment focused on promoting emotion regulation, integrating opposing patient representations of the therapist, enhancing metacognition, and increasing focus on the maladaptive schema that elicited dysregulated behaviors. Later in therapy, treatment focused on supporting the patient to realize her ideas about self and others were schema-driven; and improving metacognitive capacity to understand others’ minds. General implications for psychotherapy of BPD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Case Studies
Early online date24 Sep 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Sep 2020


  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • interpersonal schema
  • metacognition


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