Transference Focused Psychotherapy (TFP), is a highly structured, twice-weekly modified psychodynamic treatment based on Otto Kernberg’s object relations model of borderline personality disorder. It views the individual with borderline personality organization (BPO) as holding unreconciled and contradictory internalized representations of self and significant others that are affectively charged. The defense against these contradictory internalized object relations leads to disturbed relationships with others and with self. The distorted perceptions of self, others, and associated affects are the focus of treatment as they emerge in the relationship with the therapist (transference). The intended aim of the treatment is focused on the integration of split off parts of self and object representations, and the consistent interpretation of these distorted perceptions is considered the mechanism of change.
TFP has been validated as an efficacious treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD), although too few studies have been conducted to allow firm conclusions to be drawn about its value. TFP is one of a number of treatments that may be useful in the treatment of BPD; however, only TFP has been shown to change how patients think about themselves in relationships.
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