Successful psychotherapy reduces hypervigilance in borderline personality disorder

S. Sieswerda*, A.R. Arntz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Web of Science)


The aims of the present study were to investigate whether selective attention in borderline personality disorder (BPD) is content-specific and influenced by treatment. Comparisons were made between emotional Stroop interferences of stimulus types that were related and unrelated to hypothesized BPD schemas (1) of patients with BPD (n = 24) and nonpatient controls (n = 23), and (2) of BPD patients (n = 16) at start and end of an intensive, 3-year lasting treatment. Patients with BPD showed general hypervigilance, i.e. attentional biases for both schema related and unrelated emotional stimuli. Hypervigilance was completely reduced to normalized levels in recovered patients (n = 6), but not in non-recovered patients (n = 10) at the end of treatment. The findings support the possibility of structural change in BPD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-402
JournalBehavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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