Suicide and Parasuicide in BPD: Evidence-Based Strategies


SKU: LD - 122 Category:


Suicide and parasuicide (non-suicidal self-injury) are prominent features in borderline  personality disorder. Although both are briefly described in the same diagnostic criteria,  they are distinctly different clinical phenomenon and require different treatment  approaches. While evidence-based treatments for BPD have existed for over 20 years  now, even the most skilled clinicians still lack a cohesive approach for conceptualizing  and treating this difficult population and oftentimes find themselves at a loss regarding  how to deal with these sometimes confusing behaviors in this challenging population.  

They can be chaotic, impulsive and unstable. Research also suggests an estimated  75% of individuals with this diagnosis will commit at least one self damaging act and  10% eventually die by suicide.  

The good news is there is hope forgiving these individuals a life worth living.  

Leave this three hour online training with internationally recognized personality disorder  expert Jeff Riggenbach equipped with the tools to:  

  • Distinguish suicide from parasuicide and learn specific interventions for each
  • Have conversations with your clients about the BPD diagnosis in a way that minimizes defensiveness and elicits client buy-in
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the 3 ways schemas are maintained and the role that they play in driving destructive behaviors
  • Differentiate BPD from PTSD, Bipolar disorder, and other sometimes difficult to discern conditions
  • Recognize the 8 most common reasons for NSSI endorsed by clients with BPD and apply clinically appropriate interventions for each
  • Discuss clinically appropriate disposition options in response to dangerousness

Notice: registrant agrees to share their email address with Dr. Riggenbach.

Cost: $75 – Want to attend this event and any future event or course from our CE library for FREE and unlimited for the cost of $25/month for 12 months??!! Check out our Everything Plan here.

Attendance and Location Details


Date and Time


Friday, February 25, 2022 10:00 am – 1:00 pm CENTRAL TIME


*Live Webinar Attendees: YouTube Live/Zoom link will be made available to you 24-48 hours prior to event date

*We are not offering in-person ticket registration at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



This training will provide participants clinical knowledge and tools to:

a) Develop an in-depth understanding of the nine essential characteristics of  Borderline Personality Disorder

b) Acquire language skills for having the conversation with clients and family members  in a way that decreases client defensiveness an elicits buy-in

c) Learn the 8 motivations for NSSI highly endorsed by clients with BPD and  appropriate intervention strategies for each

d) Separate 3 clinically significant “Suicidal” components to BPD and learn how to  assess for each

e) Acquire key differential diagnosis skills for Borderline PD, PTSD, bipolar Disorder  and other clinically overlapping conditions

f) Learn the 18 maladaptive schemas present in BPD and their role in driving  destructive behaviors

g) Develop skills in assessment of suicidality and parasuicidality and decision making  skills regarding appropriate levels of care for each

h) Utilize reasons for living to enhance hope and decrease suicide attempts

i) Learn critical keys for safety planning specific to the BPD population

Workshop Outline 

BPD In Everyday Language  

  • Abandonment and Destructive BehaviorsSuicide vS Parasuicide
  • 8 Motivations for NSSI
  • Indications for Hospitalization
  • BPD v Bipolar “mood swings
  • Differential Diagnosis

Evidence Based Treatment  

  • DBT
  • CBT
  • Schema-Focused Therapy

The Role of Schemas in destructive behaviors  

  • 18 Early Maladaptive Schemas
  • Schema Activation
  • NSSI & Schema Maintenance

Treatment Set up  

  • The Therapeutic Alliance
  • Treatment Agreements
  • Contracting

Skills Training Groups  

  • Relational Skills
  • Emotion Regulation Skills
  • Distress Tolerance Skills
  • Cognitive Skills

Individual Therapy  

  • Session acuity protocol
  • Diary Cards and Daily Logs
  • Risk Assessment & Safety PlanningComplex Chain Analysis

Protective factors and Reasons for Living

Target Audience:

Mental Health Clinicians & Therapists, Social Workers, Psychologists, Marriage & Family Therapists, Counselors, School Personnel, Youth Development Workers, Healthcare Workers.


Instructional Level: Intermediate

Instructor(s): Jeff Riggenbach, PhD

Material Author(s): Jeff Riggenbach, PhD