About Family Connections

BPD can be challenging to live with for persons who have it, and also for their families and loved ones. Strong emotions and impulses can affect family relationships.

Families cannot go it alone. It is known however that unfortunately relatively few professionals include family members in the treatment process. As enduring relationships are important to help people with BPD, those in relationships with people with BPD need strategies and support, too.

About Family Connections

Family Connections is a free, 12-week course that meets weekly for two hours to provide education, skills training, and support for people who are in a relationship with someone who has BPD. Focusing on issues that are specific to BPD, it is hosted in a community setting and led by trained group leaders who are either clinicians or family members of relatives with BPD. Dr. Alan Fruzzetti and Dr. Perry Hoffman developed the course based on their research as well as their significant professional expertise in counseling people with BPD and their loved ones. Family Connections provides: (i) current information and research on BPD and on family functioning; (ii) individual coping skills based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); (iii) family skills; and (iv) group support that builds an ongoing network for family members.

Family Connections is coordinated by the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder Australia (NEABPD-Australia). It reflects a decade of evidence based, professionally led family groups that are community based and led by trained family members and Clinicians.

Three independent research studies showed that after completing the course, family members experienced significantly decreased feelings of depression, burden, and grief, and heightened feelings of empowerment.

The Family Connections®program includes:

  • Education and research about BPD
  • Skills training drawing on tenets on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Teaching and learning of treatment theories and practices, and the latest research findings on BPD
  • Support for parents, spouses, children, and siblings of someone with BPD
  • The latest knowledge and skills to enable the well being of participants.

Course content focuses on:


  • Education on BPD
  • Research on BPD
  • Family Perspectives and Experiences
  • Relationship Mindfulness Skills
  • Emotion Regulation Skills
  • Effective Communication Skills
  • Validation Skills
  • Problem Management Skills

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