J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2020 Feb;59(1):61-71. 10.4306/jknpa.2020.59.1.61.

Effectiveness of Korean Mentalization Based Treatment in Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder: Preliminary Report on Interim Analysis

  • 1Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. johnstein@yuhs.ac
  • 2Yonseineulbom Mental Health Clinic, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in Korea has been based mainly on individual psychopharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. No quantitative study has examined the effectiveness of group psychotherapy for patients with BPD in Korea. In the present study, the mentalization-based treatment (MBT) program developed from the Anna Freud Center in London was conducted in the author's hospital. This article presents the results of a preliminary analysis of the treatment effects of the Korean MBT for BPD.
The recruited subjects are patients diagnosed with BPD at Gangnam Severance Hospital. A psychological assessment was conducted at baseline and every six months during the treatment. Statistical analysis was performed using the data of 62 people at the baseline assessment, and the treatment effectiveness was analyzed with the data from 21 people who participated in the treatment group over six months.
Borderline personality features were positively correlated with depressive symptoms, anxious attachment, avoidant attachment, and novelty seeking trait, and negatively correlated with self-directedness. After the 12-month treatment, the depressive symptoms and self-disclosure scores were improved significantly. In addition, the self-directedness, cooperativeness factor scores of the temperament and character inventory, and the self-regulation ability score of the resilience scale were also improved significantly.
This study suggests that the Korean MBT can improve depressive symptoms and induce positive changes in personality functioning. Although the number of people who continued MBT over 12 months was very small due to the high dropout rate, this study is the first quantitative study on the effects of the Korean MBT for BPD patients.


Borderline personality disorder; Mentalization; Depression; Temperament; Character
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