Much of what we know about BPD — from its early beginnings to diagnosis, treatment and personal recovery — is based on careful research conducted around the world. The outlook for people who live with BPD is improving year by year, as our understanding of this complex mental illness increases. Spectrum treatments are ‘evidence-based’, which means that the work we do is guided by the best available evidence of what works for people diagnosed with BPD.

As Victoria’s Personality Disorder Service, Spectrum plays three important roles for advancing the knowledge and care of individuals with BPD, along with supporting the friends and family who care for them. These are:

  1. Treatment
  2. Education,  
  3. Peer-reviewed research and key publications that assist the broader community (nationally and internationally).

Our role is to raise awareness, improve diagnosis, education, and treatment of people with BPD, and support the services that provide ongoing care.

Our current research projects include:

  1. Improving the diagnosis of BPD in the elderly
  2. Examining the treatment of BPD patients in the Emergency Department
  3. Defining ‘recovery’ in the context of living with BPD
  4. Examining the effectiveness of medication when given alongside psychotherapy
  5. Ongoing quality assessment of Spectrum’s treatment services.

If you have been diagnosed with BPD and are interested in learning more about Spectrum’s research program, please contact us via email or phone (03) 8833 3050.

Spectrum Publications


National Health and Medical Research Council. Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Borderline Personality Disorder. Melbourne: National Health and Medical Research Council; 2012.

Borderline Personality Disorder: Towards Effective Treatment
J Beatson, S Rao and C Watson (2010)

Wise Choices: Acceptance and Commitment therapy groups for people with borderline personality disorder
J. Morton & L. Shaw (2012)

Journal papers

D Elsner, JH Broadbear, S Rao. What is the clinical significance of chronic emptiness in borderline personality disorder? Australasian Psychiatry| First Published October 16, 2017

J Beatson, JH Broadbear, DI Lubman, S Rao. Hallucinations in Borderline Personality Disorder may be more prevalent than community sample study suggests. The British Journal of Psychiatry, Oct 2017, 211 (4) 250-251.

S Rao, JH Broadbear, K Thompson, A Correia, M Preston, P Katz, R Trett. Evaluation of a novel risk assessment matrix for the management of self-harm associated with borderline personality disorder.  Australasian Psychiatry, Oct;25(5):460-465, 2017.

F Donald, C Duff, K Lawrence, J Broadbear, S Rao. Consumer Perspectives on Personal Recovery and Borderline Personality Disorder. The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Volume: 12 Issue: 6, 2017

F Donald, C Duff, K Lawrence, J Broadbear, S Rao. Recovery and Borderline Personality Disorder: Insights for Clinical Practice. The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice. Vol. 12 Issue: 3, pp.199-209, 2016.

J Beatson, J Broadbear, H Sivakumaran, F Moss, E Kotler, and S Rao. Missed diagnosis: The emerging crisis with Borderline Personality Disorder in older people. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. Dec 2016; 50(12):1139-1145.

J Broadbear, J Nesci, R Thomas, K Thompson, J Beatson, and S Rao. Evaluation of changes in prescription medication use after a residential treatment program for Borderline Personality Disorder, Australasian Psychiatry, 24(6): 583-588, 2016
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J Beatson and S Rao. Psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder, Australasian Psychiatry, 2014 Dec; 22(6):529-32.

J Beatson and S Rao. Depression and borderline personality disorder, Medical Journal of Australia 2013; 100(6 Suppl): S24-27.
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J Morton, S Snowdon, M Gopold, E Guymer. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Group Treatment for Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder: A Public Sector Pilot Study. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 2012; 19:527-544.
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D Lubman, K Hall, A Pennay, S Rao. Managing borderline personality disorder and substance use — an integrated approach, Australian Family Physician, 2011 Jun; 40(6):376-81.
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C Hulbert and R Thomas. Predicting self-injury in BPD: an investigation of the experiential avoidance model, Journal of Personality Disorders, 2010 Oct; 24(5):651-663.
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J Giffin. Family Experience of Borderline Personality Disorder, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 2008 Sep; 29(3):133-138.

C Hulbert and R Thomas. Public sector group treatment for severe personality disorder: a 12-month follow-up study, Australasian Psychiatry, 2007; 15(2): 226-231.
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