Family Information: Borderline Personality Disorder Family Connections programmes

Family Connections

Family Connections (FC) is an evidence-based multi-family group intervention for family members/significant others of people with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Developed in the US by psychologists Perry Hoffman and Alan Fruzzetti, FC aims to educate family members/significant others about BPD and interpersonal functioning, build skills to manage their emotional responses, and provide peer support.

Family Connections programmes run in some parts of the country, e.g. Cork, Wexford, Galway, Louth, Meath. Please ask the treating team in your area if this programme is available for you and your family members.

More information about this programme


A DVD and online teaching resource titled 'Open Your Mind Before You Open Your Mouth' has been developed within the North Lee AMHS service in association with the programme originator, to further refine and enhance the learning of skills for family members/ significant others and to facilitate the sharing of their learning with extended family and friends. This resource is available and offered to all participants involved in the Family Connections Programme. The following are a list of links to the individual modules in this DVD.

Adult version

Module 1: Introduction

Module 2: Family Education

Module 3: Relationship Mindfulness Skills

Module 4: Family Environment Skills

Module 5: Validation Skills

Module 6: Problem Management Skills

Full DVD Link to 'Open Your Mind Before You Open Your Mouth'




Youth & Carer Version

Module 1 – Introduction and Information

Module 2 – Mindfulness and the Middle Path

Module 3 – Understanding Emotions

Module 4 – Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) in action

Module 5 - Validation

Module 6 – Interpersonal Effectiveness



Recommended web links for family members/ significant others:

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder -
Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Centre



Recommended reading list for family members/ significant others:

  • Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living with BPD (2007) by Alexander L. Chapman. New Harbinger Publications Inc. Oakland California
  • Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified: An Essential Guide to Understanding and Living with BPD (2004) by Robert Friedel Avon Publishing Group, New York
  • Borderline and Beyond 3rd edition (2007) by Laura Paxton White Tiger Dream Press, North Carolina
  • Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change (2010) by Valarie Porr. Oxford University Press, New York
  • Stop Walking on Eggshells 2nd edition (2010) by Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger. New Harbringer Publication Inc. Oakland California
  • The High Conflict Couple: A Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy and Validation (2006) by Alan E. Fruzetti New Harbinger Publications Inc. Oakland California
  • Understanding and Treating Borderline Personality Disorder: A Guide for Professionals and Families (2005) by John G. Gunderson and Perry D. Hoffman. American Psychiatric Publishing Family Connections DVD/ Online Teaching Resource