Register now: Harvard Professor to train new leaders in family education, skills and support program for Borderline Personality Disorder

Harvard Medical School Professor Alan Fruzzetti will deliver training for Queenslanders interested in becoming volunteer leaders of the internationally-renowned Family Connections program in July at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services Director of Therapies and Allied Health Geoff Lau welcomed the training, which is a Queensland first.

“This leader training will equip volunteers with the skills and knowledge to become facilitators of a 12-week community-based education, skills and support program which draws on the latest research in therapies and support,” he said.

“The Family Connections program provides family members of those suffering from BPD with current research and information on BPD, basic coping skills and an opportunity to learn and practice relationship-building,” he said.

The course will be hosted by not-for-profit organisation National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA.BPD) and Metro South Health.

Professor Fruzzetti said the course would go a long way towards helping families who feel helpless, to be more effective both in coping with their own distress and being helpful to their loved one with BPD.

“BPD is stigmatised and frequently misunderstood and many sufferers and their families feel alienated and alone,” he said.

“The disorder can affect family relationships and while some people with BPD are high functioning in certain settings; their private lives may be in turmoil. 

“Other disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse and other personality disorders can often exist along with BPD.

“People living with BPD may also inflict self-harm or be suicidal. It can be devastating for families.

The Family Connections Program is an evidence-based programme and proven to empower families to better cope with their burden, grief and depression.

“It is designed to support carers with a loved one who experiences BPD and help them understand the disorder; the impact of the illness on their relative or themselves; and to teach skills to improve their quality of their lives,” Mr Fruzzetti said.

NEA.BPD Australia is working to help families cope with the chaos that comes with the disorder through the provision of this free program to Australian households.

Co-developed by Dr Alan Fruzzetti and Dr Perry Hoffman of the US-based NEA.BPD organisation, Dr Fruzzetti will be delivering the Family Connections Facilitator Training in Brisbane on July 1 and 2, 2017, in partnership with Metro South Health.

Health professionals and carers interested in becoming Family Connections Leaders can register to attend the training and find out more by emailing: bpdfamilyconnections@gmail.com

Editor’s note:

Dr Fruzzetti is on the Board of Directors of the Linehan Institute, the International Society for DBT and the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, and has lectured and trained professional in more than a dozen countries on bpd, DBT, and family interventions.   He currently holds the role of Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.