Therapy Activities for Borderline Personality Disorder

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on May 13, 2023
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Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can feel like a rollercoaster of emotions and behaviors, leaving both the individual and their loved ones searching for effective coping strategies.

In this blog, we’ll delve into some of the most powerful therapy activities specifically designed to help those with BPD regain control over their lives.

We hope this list of therapy activities for BPD helps you or a loved one to explore the therapeutic techniques that foster emotional stability, self-awareness, and interpersonal growth.

The Online Mental Health Reviews team is highly qualified to write about therapy activities for borderline personality disorder due to our extensive knowledge and experience in the mental health field.

We have a deep understanding of various therapeutic approaches and stay up-to-date with the latest research on evidence-based treatments for BPD.

So, buckle up and join us on this journey towards understanding and healing, as we empower you with the tools and knowledge to transform your mental health landscape.

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BetterHelp | Online Therapy for Stressed Professionals
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Overall, BetterHelp conveniently provides busy professionals with various live therapy options to make it the best online therapy in terms of value per dollar.

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How Grounding Therapy Activities for Borderline Personality Disorder Work

Grounding tasks are meant to help you pay attention to what’s going on right now. They help when you’re going through something that gives you a lot of worry or makes you feel like you can’t handle it. This is because they force you to focus on the present instead of the past, your bad feelings, or “what ifs.”

Different activities have been made for grounding, and different ones can be used to help with different things. Some of the routines, for example, can be done in public, while others are better done in private, like when you’re having very intense dissociative experiences.

We highly recommend you try out a few of these tasks so you can choose from them when you need to and figure out which ones work best for you.

List of Grounding Therapy Activities for BPD

  1. Hum or sing a song you love.
  2. Recite a favorite poem, children’s book, or song lyrics aloud.
  3. Reach out to someone through a phone call.
  4. Quietly or audibly repeat affirmations like “I am safe” or “I am calm” until you feel grounded.
  5. Enjoy a funny YouTube video, your favorite sitcom, or even a scary movie.
  6. Use a pre-selected app to play soothing nature sounds when you need grounding.
  7. Refresh yourself with a cool shower or hand-washing, or indulge in a warm bubble bath.
  8. Gently snap a rubber band on your wrist for tactile grounding.
  9. Apply fragrant lotion to your hands, focusing on the sensation and aroma.
  10. Mist your face and/or chest with a water spray.
  11. Tap your fingers in a rhythmic sequence to regain focus.
  12. Carry a small object like a bead or stress ball, and manipulate it when you need grounding.
  13. Slowly run your hand over various textures, noticing the differences.
  14. Savor a piece of chocolate as it melts in your mouth.
  15. Stretch your arms and feel your muscles’ strength.
  16. Embrace a beloved stuffed animal, cozy blanket, or pillow.
  17. Remove your shoes and press your toes into the floor or ground.
  18. Inhale the refreshing scent of peppermint oil or strong mints.
  19. Try a mental health app that gives you a visual representation of how to breathe.
  20. Experience the zesty taste of lemon by biting into it or sipping lemon juice.
  21. Identify objects in alphabetical order within your surroundings.
  22. Count backward from 100 to refocus your thoughts.
  23. Listen to your favorite song, concentrating on the lyrics, melody, and emotions it evokes.
  24. Record your feelings in a dedicated grounding journal using a comfortable pen.
  25. Engage in a game on your phone or computer.
  26. Practice deep, focused breathing to center yourself.
  27. Visualize your favorite place and imagine being there, engaging in activities you enjoy.
  28. Step outside to appreciate the natural scents of your environment.
  29. Jump up and down for a quick physical grounding.
  30. Learn mindfulness for when you’re at work, school or studying.

Worksheets: There are many free worksheets available online for therapists to use with their patients as session work. These worksheets can help to identify triggers and provide strategies for managing symptoms of BPD. Learn more.

Creating an Effective Borderline Personality Treatment Regimen

Treatment Strategies for Borderline Personality Disorder

Creating an effective borderline personality treatment regimen is possible with the right combination of psychotherapy and medication.

According to the Mayo Clinic2, “Borderline personality disorder is mainly treated using psychotherapy, but medication may be added.”

  • The most common type of psychotherapy used to treat BPD is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT focuses on mindfulness, or being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings in the present moment. It also helps people learn how to regulate their emotions, manage stress, and improve relationships.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another type of psychotherapy that can be used to help people with BPD identify and change negative thought patterns.
  • Medication may also be prescribed in addition to psychotherapy for BPD. Common medications used to treat BPD include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. It’s important to note that medication alone isn’t enough to treat BPD; it should always be combined with psychotherapy for the best results.

Overall, creating an effective borderline personality treatment regimen requires a combination of both psychotherapy and medication tailored specifically to the individual’s needs. Working closely with a mental health professional can help ensure that the treatment plan is tailored correctly for each person’s unique situation.

Psychotherapy Treatment for BPD

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder that can cause significant emotional distress and difficulty in managing relationships.

Fortunately, there are several evidence-based psychotherapy treatments available for BPD3.

As mentioned before, psychotherapy is the primary treatment for BPD and is often used in combination with medication. Common types of psychotherapy used to treat BPD include:

  1. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – DBT focuses on teaching skills such as mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.
  2. Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT) – MBT helps people understand their own emotions and those of others.
  3. Transference-Focused Therapy (TFT) – TFT focuses on understanding how past experiences affect current behavior.
  4. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT helps people identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviors and replace them with healthier ones.

It is important to find a therapist who has experience treating BPD, as this will help ensure that you receive the best possible care for your condition. If you or someone you know is struggling with BPD, it is important to seek professional help from a qualified mental health provider.

How to Use Zocdoc to Quickly Find a Highly Rated, In-Network BPD Clinician Near You

Zocdoc is an easy-to-use website for doctor appointments. Due to its enormous database of doctors, therapists, and specialists, Zocdoc makes it easier to find the perfect one for you or a loved one. Insurance, area, and speciality filters are available on the platform which personalizes the user experience.

Zocdoc’s verified patient reviews describe each professional’s care, making Zocdoc the “Yelp” or “Google” of mental wellness.

Step-by-Step Guide to Finding a BPD Clinician on Zocdoc

  1. Visit Zocdoc’s website: Navigate to Zocdoc to begin your search for a qualified BPD clinician, doctor, or therapist near you.
  2. Create an account: Sign up for a free Zocdoc account using your email address or through your Google or Facebook account. This will allow you to save your preferences, track appointments, and access other helpful features.
  3. Enter your insurance information: Click on “Insurance” at the top of the page and enter your insurance plan details. Zocdoc will then display only those providers who accept your insurance, saving you time and ensuring you’re covered.
  4. Search for BPD specialists: In the search bar, type “Borderline Personality Disorder” or “BPD Therapist” and enter your location to find nearby professionals specializing in BPD treatment.
  5. Filter results: Use the available filters to narrow down your search based on factors such as distance, availability, gender, and languages spoken. This will help you find a healthcare provider that fits your preferences and needs.
  6. Read reviews: Browse through verified patient reviews to gain insight into each provider’s expertise, bedside manner, and overall quality of care. This will help you determine if a particular healthcare provider is the right fit for your mental health needs.
  7. Book an appointment: Once you’ve found a suitable BPD clinician, click on the “Book Online” button to schedule an appointment. You’ll be prompted to choose a date and time, provide your contact information, and specify the reason for your visit.
  8. Prepare for your appointment: Gather any relevant medical records, insurance information, and a list of questions or concerns you’d like to discuss with your healthcare provider. This will ensure a smooth experience during your appointment.
  9. Attend your appointment: Arrive at your scheduled appointment with your selected BPD clinician, ready to discuss your mental health concerns and begin your journey toward healing.

By following these steps, you can effectively utilize Zocdoc to find the right mental health provider for your Borderline Personality Disorder treatment.

Remember to always communicate openly with your chosen healthcare professional and be proactive in managing your mental health. With the right support, you can successfully navigate the complexities of BPD and work towards a healthier, more balanced life.

How is Borderline Personality Disorder Treated?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition that affects how you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life.

Treatment for BPD typically involves a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.

  • Psychotherapy is the main treatment for BPD and usually involves talking to a therapist regularly. These therapies (see above list) help people with BPD learn to manage their emotions, reduce impulsive behaviors, and improve relationships with others.
  • In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help manage symptoms of BPD such as depression or anxiety. It’s important to note that medications alone are not enough to treat specific symptoms of BPD; they must be used in conjunction with psychotherapy.
  • Finally, making lifestyle changes can also help people with BPD manage their symptoms. This includes getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation.

Is CBT or DBT Better for a Borderline Personality Disorder?

When it comes to treating borderline personality disorder (BPD), both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can be effective.

DBT was specifically designed to treat BPD, while CBT is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions.

  • CBT focuses on how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence each other. It helps people identify and change negative thinking patterns and unhealthy behaviors.
  • DBT combines traditional CBT techniques with mindfulness skills and acceptance strategies. It teaches skills like distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Research has shown that DBT is the most effective treatment for BPD.

However, some people may find that CBT works better for them than DBT or vice versa. Ultimately, it’s important to work with a mental health professional who can help you decide which type of therapy is best for you.

4 Alternatives to BPD Treatment – DIY Training – Sleep, Anxiety, Depression

What if you want to work on your BPD, but all of a sudden you decide you don’t want to go to therapy or take medicine, but would rather do-it-yourself?

Self-care is important at any stage of healing from BPD, whether you’re just starting out or have been healing for years.

Here are some great self-paced training classes that can help you learn how to take care of yourself without having to commit to a BPD treatment plan.

  1. Destroy Depression ( – Join James Gordon on a life-changing trip and learn how to beat hopeless feelings. This strategy is good for people who don’t want to take antidepressants or go to therapy and want to get to the bottom of their depression.
  2. Panic Away ( – The 21-7 Technique is taught in Panic Away, which has sold over 150,000 copies. This unconventional strategy, created by an anxiety sufferer, has helped thousands of individuals, from stay-at-home moms to police officers.
  3. Sleep Hacking Masterclass: Sleep Faster and Feel Refreshed ( – Popular Udemy course about how to sleep and wake up refreshed. It helps sleep-deprived persons enhance their health, mood, vitality, and sleep. The course, which has been rated 4.7 by over 117 students, will teach you how to fall asleep faster, take daytime naps, increase your sleep quality, and even manage your dreams.
  4. Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly ( – Start your mindful and quiet life with this popular Udemy course. Discover five-minute meditation techniques that can reduce stress, improve health, and boost productivity. This course, rated 4.5 by over 1,180 students, will teach you how to meditate, build consistent practice, and grasp the mechanics of this powerful wellness tool.

Can People with Borderline Live a Normal Life?

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be a challenge, but it doesn’t mean that people with this disorder cannot lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

With the right support, therapy, and commitment to self-care, people with BPD can learn to manage their symptoms and live a normal life.

  • Those living with BPD need to take care of themselves.
  • Healthy self-care practices such as exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep, and taking time for yourself can help reduce emotional pain and increase positive emotions.
  • Additionally, having a strong support system of friends and other family members who understand your condition can help you stay on track.

Therapy is also an important part of managing BPD. DBT is especially helpful in treating BPD symptoms by helping individuals recognize patterns in their thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to their distress.

Finally, it’s important to remember that recovery from BPD is possible.

Studies have found that most patients improve over time with the right treatment plan in place. With patience and dedication to successful treatment throughout, people with BPD can lead happy and successful lives.

Can You Ever Fully Recover from BPD?

While there is no definitive cure for BPD, research shows that some treatment programs can help people with BPD move toward recovery.

  • Treatment plans often focus on helping the individual develop healthy coping strategies and improving their relationships with others.
  • Studies have shown that remission of symptoms is common in those with BPD, however, good functioning may lag behind symptom remission.
  • It is important to remember that recovery from BPD takes time and patience, and it is possible to make progress even if full recovery isn’t achieved.
  • Keeping a diary card every day, making therapy appointments, reaching out for help when needed, and prioritizing your recovery are all important steps in the process.

Does BPD Go Away with Age?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder that can cause significant distress and difficulty in everyday life. The good news is that there is hope for people with BPD. Studies have shown that symptoms of BPD may decrease with age, as people learn to better manage their symptoms.

For some people, the severity of their symptoms may lessen over time, while for others, the symptoms may remain the same or even worsen. It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with BPD is different and individualized treatment plans are necessary for each person.

Research about “The Lifetime Course of Borderline Personality Disorder”4 has found that about half of those diagnosed with BPD experience remission of their diagnosis after 10 years. Additionally, up to 88% of people with BPD have reported a significant improvement over time when they receive appropriate treatment.

It’s important to remember that recovery from BPD is possible and you don’t have to go through it alone. With the right support and treatment, you can learn how to manage your symptoms and live a fulfilling life.

What are The Best Activities for BPD?

If you are living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), many activities can help you cope.

  • Self-help ideas such as identifying diagnostic tools, mindfulness techniques, meditation, podcasts, and distractions can be beneficial.
  • Additionally, engaging in visual and auditory exercises like singing or humming your favorite song, reading a poem or song lyrics out loud, or calling someone can be helpful.
  • Practical activities like ripping up paper, hitting a pillow, exercising, and listening to loud music can also be beneficial for coping with BPD.
  • Other self-care activities include regular exercise, good sleep habits, a nutritious diet, and healthy stress management.
  • Finally, creating a resilience list of activities that you enjoy and find relaxing can help you cope with BPD. Examples may include watching TV, playing with your pet, or going for a walk.

Overall, it is important to remember that everyone’s experience with BPD is different and what works for one person may not work for another. It is important to find the right combination of activities that work best for you and your mental health journey.

However, BPD can often be hard to tell apart from Bipolar, Borderline Schizophrenia, and PTSD so let’s try to differentiate the three.

BPD versus Bipolar Disorder: 

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects a person’s mood.

Individuals with Bipolar Disorder experience episodes of mania, during which they feel euphoria, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. There’s also a depressive episode, where they feel sadness, loss of interest, and low energy levels.

While BPD and Bipolar Disorder share symptoms such as extreme mood swings and impulsivity, they differ in the duration and frequency of these episodes.

Bipolar episodes last for weeks or months, whereas BPD episodes typically last for a few hours or days.

BPD versus Borderline Schizophrenia: 

Borderline Schizophrenia shares some symptoms with BPD, such as distorted self-image and anxiety disorders.

However, Borderline Schizophrenia is a more severe disorder that affects a person’s ability to function in their daily lives.

Individuals with Borderline Schizophrenia often experience hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking, which can interfere with their relationships and work.

In contrast, individuals with BPD experience intense emotions and impulsive behavior that can cause challenges in their interpersonal relationships, but they can usually function in their daily lives.

BPD versus Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): 

PTSD is a disorder characterized by re-experiencing past traumatic events, avoiding any reminders of the trauma, and hyperarousal.

While BPD and PTSD share symptoms of fear and anxiety, they differ in their causes. PTSD develops after someone experiences a traumatic event such as war, sexual assault, or natural disaster.

In contrast, BPD develops from a combination of genetic factors, environmental factors, and the individual’s early life experiences.

Who does borderline personality disorder affect?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder that can affect anyone, but it is most commonly diagnosed in late adolescence and early adulthood.

According to Mental Health America1, Studies have found that approximately 6.2% of women and 5.6% of men are affected by BPD. It is also more common in younger people, with some studies showing that it is diagnosed more often in teens and young adults than later in life.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition that affects how you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life.

BPD is characterized by symptoms such as unstable emotions, intense fear of abandonment, impulsive behavior, distorted self-image, suicidal behavior, and unstable relationships.

Individuals with BPD often experience black-and-white thinking, where they perceive things or events as either good or bad, without any in-between. They may also engage in risky behavior such as substance abuse, gambling, or promiscuity.

People with BPD may have difficulty regulating their emotions, or mood disorders which can lead to problems with daily tasks, obligations, life events, jobs, relationships, and even food choices.

Symptoms of BPD include intense mood swings, feelings of emptiness or boredom, impulsivity or recklessness, fear of abandonment or rejection, difficulty controlling anger or aggression, self-harm behaviors such as cutting or burning oneself, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Common signs and symptoms of BPD include:

  • Fear of abandonment
  • Unstable, intense relationships
  • Unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Extreme emotional swings
  • Impulsive behaviors such as substance abuse or reckless driving
  • Self-harming behavior such as cutting
  • Recurring thoughts of suicidal behaviors or threats

If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. With the right treatment plan, people with BPD can learn to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

What are Some Coping Skills for BPD?

If you are living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), several coping skills can help you manage your symptoms. These include:

  • Confiding in someone you trust and asking for help. This could be a family member, friend, or mental health professional.
  • Looking after your physical health by eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.
  • Trying relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, or mindfulness meditation.
  • Acknowledging the symptoms when they arise and giving yourself time to process them.
  • Engaging in physical activity to regain control over your emotions and thoughts.
  • Identifying diagnostic tools such as podcasts or online support groups to help you better understand BPD and how it affects your life.
  • Practicing Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills such as distress tolerance, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness.

Therapy Activities For Borderline Personality Disorder Conclusion:

Borderline Personality Disorder can be challenging to differentiate from other similar mental health disorders.

However, by understanding the unique features and symptoms of BPD, individuals can receive accurate diagnoses, treatment, and the support they need.

Though these various mental illness disorders may have some overlapping symptoms, it is best to consult with a mental health professional for a thorough diagnosis to ensure the proper treatment is given. With proper care and support, individuals can manage the symptoms and lead a happier, more fulfilling life.

You may also want to learn about your personality and career strengths via TraitLab, a scientific personality test we’ve tested, reviewed, and recommend.

Finally, our team would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment with your questions or suggestions as to what mental health product, software, or app Online Mental Health Reviews should buy and review next. If you have a discount or coupon code, please be sure to share below as well so everyone can benefit!

Best Value-Per-Dollar
BetterHelp | Online Therapy for Stressed Professionals
$60-$90 / Week

Overall, BetterHelp conveniently provides busy professionals with various live therapy options to make it the best online therapy in terms of value per dollar.

Try 10% Off Our Review


  1. Borderline Personality Disorder. (n.d.). Mental Health America.
  2. Borderline personality disorder – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. (2022, December 13). Borderline Personality Disorder – Diagnosis and Treatment – Mayo Clinic.
  3. Zanarini, M. C. (2009, November). Psychotherapy of borderline personality disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 120(5), 373–377.
  4. Biskin, R. S. (2015, July). The Lifetime Course of Borderline Personality Disorder. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 60(7), 303–308.

If You Are In Crisis

In Case of an Emergency Should you find yourself in a critical situation, waiting for an online therapy session might not be the safest option. If you require immediate assistance, dial 911. This includes any plans to harm yourself or others. For those contemplating self-harm, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available by calling 988, offering help around the clock.

Additionally, you can reach out to the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357). This toll-free, confidential service provides support for individuals with mental health or substance abuse issues by connecting them with treatment options and information 24/7, 365 days a year.

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