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Chronic Suicidality and Self-Harm in Borderline Personality Disorder: Managing the Risk

by | May 22, 2018

Clients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or traits are often chronically suicidal and use self-harm to regulate their emotional world. Working therapeutically with these presentations requires the clinician to assess and manage the risk differently.

Learning Objectives

This workshop will provide learning in:

  • 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.

Our Trainer

Ms Kelly Watt-McMahon is a consulting clinical psychologist, with over 25 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 currently works as a Senior Lecturer at Cairnmillar, and coordinates the Master of Professional Psychology program.  

Please note, this course is subject to receiving a minimum number of enrolments.

Monday 31st August 2020


Depending on the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, this course will be conducted either online via videoconference or face-to-face at 391-393 Tooronga Road
Hawthorn East VIC 3123

9am – 4pm

Standard Price: $300
External Students or Cairnmillar Alumni: $200*
Cairnmillar Students: $30

Our programs attract a 10% concession for health care card holders, pensioners, full‐time students and people receiving benefits. Those applying for concessions must provide a copy (photo evidence is accepted) of their student card, social security card, or health care card together with their application, to email shortcourses@cairnmillar.edu.au.