chapter  35
50 Pages

Convergence and Controversy: II. Treatment of the Borderline

THE TREATMENT OF borderline patients is difficult, challenging work, taxing to both patient and therapist. Indeed, it may be this very difficulty that stimulates the enormous interest in borderline patients - as we seek to meet challenges that can bring defeat. Freud's refusal to be stymied by the apparent setback of his patients' startling propensity to "fall in love" with their therapist set the precedent; transference, countertransference, resistance, and defense are all concepts of inestimable therapeutic power only because of therapists' struggles to understand and use phenomena that might otherwise have been only obstacles. Borderlines challenge our grasp of all these concepts and more. As we explored in Volume I, even the diagnosis is controversial, and disagreements about etiology abound. It should not surprise us, then, to find controversies and seeming incomPatibilities in recommendations for their treatment.