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Effects of Motive-Oriented Therapeutic Relationship in Early-Phase Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder: A Pilot Study of a Randomized Trial

Kramer, Ueli PhD*†; Berger, Thomas PhD; Kolly, Stéphane MD; Marquet, Pierre MD, PhD; Preisig, Martin MD Prof.; de Roten, Yves PhD*; Despland, Jean-Nicolas MD Prof.*; Caspar, Franz PhD Prof.

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: April 2011 - Volume 199 - Issue 4 - p 244-250
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182125d19
Original Articles

Motive-oriented therapeutic relationship (MOTR, also called complementary therapeutic relationship) was postulated to be a particularly helpful therapeutic ingredient in the early-phase treatment of patients with personality disorders, in particular borderline personality disorder (BPD). The present pilot study of randomized controlled trial using an add-on design aims to investigate the effects of MOTR in early-phase treatment (up to session 10), with BPD patients on therapeutic alliance, session impact, and outcome. In total, N = 25 patients participated in the study. BPD patients were randomly allocated to a manual-based investigation process in 10 sessions or to the same investigation process infused with MOTR. Adherence ratings were performed and yielded satisfactory results. The results suggested a specific effectiveness of MOTR on the interpersonal problem area, on the quality of the therapeutic alliance and the quality of the therapeutic relationship, as rated by the patient. These results may have important clinical implications for the early-phase treatment of patients presenting with BPD.

*Department of Psychiatry-CHUV, Institute of Psychotherapy, University of Lausanne, Prilly-Lausanne, Switzerland; †Karl Jaspers, Department of Psychiatry-CHUV, University of Lausanne, Prilly-Lausanne, Switzerland; and ‡Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland.

Send reprint requests to Ueli Kramer, PhD, Department of Psychiatry-CHUV, IUP, University of Lausanne, Cèdres-Cery, CH-1008 Prilly-Lausanne, Switzerland. E-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.