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Chronic Suicidality and Self-Harm in BPD – July 2023

July 19 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

If you work with clients who have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), whether in a therapy role, case management, or acute services, you’ll know that this group has particular relational needs. Furthermore, the work usually requires navigating, with the client, a chronic risk of self-injury or suicide.

Extant research and therapeutic wisdom each highlight that chronic self-injury and suicidality functions in various ways for clients with BPD, including to regulate intolerable distress and manage relationships. Consequently, the ways we usually manage acute suicide risk in depression are often not well suited to managing risk BPD.

This workshop is aimed at providing you with an understanding of the BPD client’s relational needs, and how to manage chronic self-injury and suicide risk within that context.

The learning outcomes for this workshop include:

  • understanding the difference between chronic and acute suicide risk
  • the functions of self-harm
  • a model of risk assessment specific to chronic self-injury risk in BPD
  • talking with the at-risk borderline client and managing the dynamics
  • knowing and observing our own emotional responses and counter-transference
  • making management decisions about risk in this population, and documenting this
  • common systemic dynamics that occur between professionals when faced with risk in borderline personality disorder, and how to navigate these issues.



This one-day training workshop is only suited to people with experience in a client-facing role such as mental health clinicians and associated students who are aiming to develop their knowledge and skills in managing risk in borderline personality disorder.

Please note, Monash Health Casey sector staff are being offered this course as part of a research project and need not apply. For any enquiries about this, please contact [email protected].


Our Trainers

Kelly Watt-McMahon, Senior Lecturer and Coordinator.

Kelly Watt-McMahon is a consulting clinical psychologist, with over 30 years’ experience in clinical psychology, psychotherapy, assessment and consultation. She previously worked for over a decade in leadership roles at Spectrum, the state-wide personality disorder service, providing assessment and treatment to some of the most high risk cases in Victoria, and consultation and training to mental health clinicians across Australia. Kelly has a small private practice, and currently works as a Senior Lecturer at Cairnmillar, and coordinates the Master of Professional Psychology program.


Important Information

Please note, this course is subject to receiving a minimum number of enrolments and conditional to Government restrictions implemented at the time of the course. In the case we are unable to deliver a face-to-face workshop, the event will be transferred to online delivery instead. We will email all registered attendees as soon as possible if changes are required. In this case, a free course transfer will also be available to an alternative course date, or a full refund of the course minus any platform ticketing fees.


Ticket Options

To request an invoice to be sent to you, please type “invoice” into the promotional code section on page two of the event enrolment form.

By purchasing a ticket, you are confirming to have read and agreed to the Enrolment Terms and Conditions set by The Cairnmillar Institute.


July 19
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Free – $250.00


Lana Winzar
03 9813 3400


The Cairnmillar Institute
391-393 Tooronga Road,
Hawthorn East, Victoria 3123
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1800 391 393
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