Feasibility Study on Outpatient Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Adolescents with Borderline Personality Disorder

Financed by: IPU funding
Research Associate: Lena Korn, MA Psychology

Since 2016 / Project Heads: Prof. Dr. Simone Salzer, Prof. Dr. Annette Streeck-Fischer

Background to the Study

Currently, increasing numbers of psychotherapeutic concepts are being developed and evaluated for those adolescents who already in their adolescence fulfil the diagnostic criteria for a borderline personality disorder. The aim in this regard is to treat this group of patients adequately as early as possible. It has proven possible using the psychoanalytic-interactional method (PIM-A) and working in-house with adolescent patients with a borderline personality disorder or with structural disorders to demonstrate in an initial randomised controlled therapy study in an inpatient setting that this represents an effective treatment option (cf. Salzer, Cropp, Jaeger, Masuhr & Streeck-Fischer, 2013; Salzer, Cropp & Streeck-Fischer, 2014).

Aim of the Study

The intention is within the context of the feasibility study to adapt the inpatient treatment concept using the psychoanalytic-interactional method (PIM-A) to date for adolescents with a borderline personality disorder (cf. Streeck-Fischer, Cropp, Streeck and Salzer, 2016) to the outpatient setting and to implement it accordingly.


N=10 adolescents with a borderline personality disorder are to receive outpatient, manualised depth-psychology based long-term therapy under the German Regulation on the Conducting of Psychotherapy with up to 60 sessions over 12 months. N=10 adolescents with a borderline personality disorder are to be observed under treatment as usual over the period of 12 months and to subsequently receive therapy. Conduct a standardised diagnosis on the basis of DSM-5, as well as record the symptomatology in external and self-evaluation.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Age: 15-18 years old
  • Diagnosis of a borderline personality disorder on the basis of DSM-5
  • Sufficient knowledge of German

Exclusion Criteria

  • Acute suicidal tendency
  • Indication for inpatient psychotherapy
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Psychotic disorder
  • Substance-related addiction
  • Severe somatic illness

The allocation to the study occurs via cooperating institutions (Berlin Academy of Psychotherapy (BAP) and the IPU University Outpatient Service), as well as from established child and youth psychotherapists and psychiatrists.