A Systematic Review of Existential Concerns in Borderline Personality Disorder

Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Ahead of Print. Background:Existential philosophy and psychotherapy focuses on the “givens” of human experience, including feelings of meaninglessness, isolation, death anxiety, and concerns surrounding identity and freedom. Although borderline personality disorder (BPD) is arguably characterized by issues in a number of these domains, it has not been systematically examined through the lens of existential therapy.Method:The current systematic review included 37 articles which examined existential concerns in relation to BPD.Results:These articles highlighted the predominance of chronic identity and isolation-related concerns in BPD, as well as the potential role of meaning in buffering against the distress of BPD, such as suicidality and comorbid depressive features.Implications:The implications of existential phenomenological findings in the conceptualization of BPD, treatment and future existential research are discussed.