People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) have huge anger issues

It was bound to happen. I finally encountered my first angry BPD client. This man belongs to a support group for which I am an admin. His original post was full of angst because his wife had told him that she was leaving him because his anger had become so out of control. He was beside himself. There were a few posts following that which were all in the same vein.

I went against my own group’s rules and contacted him

and said that I would be willing to work with him and teach him some DBT skills. He said he was very grateful and we  set a time.When we met in the video chat room,

His anger was palpable from the moment we began talking

I suggested that we go through a mindfulness meditation exercise in the hope that he would be able to relax a little. I went through the Leaves Floating Down A Stream mindfulness meditation. He kept interrupting me with questions and I kept trying to refocus him back to his breath and get him to go back to the exercise. I could see that he was beginning to squirm and get really agitated.Next, he started demanding to know what my “qualifications” were to teach DBT. So, I calmly explained to him, like I do with all my clients, that I am not a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker or even a certified DBT facilitator,” but before I could even get that phrase out, he started to berate me by saying, “Well, then you have no business DOING THIS THEN!” He then went on to say over and over again for the next five minutes, “I don’t know, something seems off with you.”At that point, i said,” I don’t think you’re in the right frame of mind for this right now so I think we should end the session,” and I terminated it.

I sent him my Power Point slide show called “Where do emotions come from.”

I never heard from him again.So, I guess the moral of the story is you can offer a horse a drink but if he’s not really thirsty, he’s not going to want to drink. I guess this is reinforcement for me that I must continue to screen my clients very carefully and make sure they are really ready for DBT before offering to help them.I feel very bad for him because I’m sure that his marriage will implode. While I was talking to  him, I could see the anger percolating behind his eyes. I hope he will be okay. He told me that he was on a waiting list for a DBT group but it wouldn’t be open to him for at least 7 weeks. I hope he can hang on until then.

My Facebook group is here:

Please feel free to join the group and come to a class!