Treating the borderline mother:  Integrating EMDR with a family systems perspective


Describes the features borderline personality disorders (BPD) in mothers and the impact it can have the family, then describes the treatment model, which combines Bowen's family systems theory with eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR). Following illustrative case material, the author discusses the treatment model's strengths and limitations, benefits for the family, indications and contraindications, management of transference issues, management of crises and acting-out behavior, integration with psychiatric services and the role of medication, and cultural and gender issues.


Book Section




Christine A. Lawson

Original Work Citation

Lawson, C. A. (2004). Treating the borderline mother: Integrating EMDR with a family systems perspective. In M. M. McFarlane (Ed.), Family treatment of personality disorders: Advances in clinical practice (pp. 305-334). New York, NY: Haworth Clinical Practice Press



“Treating the borderline mother:  Integrating EMDR with a family systems perspective,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 25, 2021,

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