A.J. Mahari on Audio Tough Love Part 1 and 2
A.J. Mahari’s Audio (from her Video) on Tough Love and BPD For Loved Ones of those with BPD
In a two hour talk given to family members and loved ones of those with Borderline Personality Disorder, author, speaker, life coach and strategist, A.J. Mahari talks about tough love. Mahari widens the perspective on what tough love really means and its role in response to BPD.
She firmly believes that tough love applied in a balanced way – as she defines tough love – can be crucial to recovery from BPD and just as crucial for loved ones to not only develop and maintain consistent boundaries but also very crucial for loved ones to not end up in the enabler role. Enabling holds those with BPD back, it does not help them.
In the first part of this 2 part of this audio (from the Video Lecture) Mahari explores the reality of defining what tough love is – what it can mean and how tough love does not have to mean a lack of empathy or compassion. Mahari talks about what love means to add to understanding the application of it generally and within the framework of a love that is “tough”. She also addresses the challenge loved ones of BPD face when trying to understand and implement tough love within the broader context of the polarization in society that exists along side of the polarization within Borderline Personality Disorder.
In the second part of this audio (from the Video Lecture) Mahari talks about how and when tough love can be applied in coping with someone with BPD in your life.
Mahari talks about her experience as a life coach and the common questions asked by loved ones that often can be addressed in and through the application of tough love in looking at each situation individually. She also speaks to the dilemma of what is referred to as a “lack of emotional skin” in those with BPD and what that does or doesn’t mean with tough love.
Mahari looks at the importance of middle-ground tough love given that those with BPD will often react strongly and intensely to what could be considered enabling, too much empathy or compassion or a lack of boundaries or how many view tough love as being the opposite of empathy and compassion and everything undertaken in rescuer-mode. The reactivity of those with BPD calls for this middle-ground tough love that is applied with the understanding that the reactions to said are the responsibility of those with BPD and cannot be modulated or controlled in any way by the loved ones, or even life coaches or therapists of those with BPD.
Mahari points out that loved ones of those with BPD cannot give the borderline in their lives the container of self that the person with BPD so needs in order to create the kind of changes that make recovery and healthier relating possible. Many loved ones believe that by not enforcing boundaries they can help the person with BPD but really this is just allowing yourself to be the “self” that the borderline continues to try to live through. Mahari stresses that this does not help the borderline or his or her loved one.
Mahari also shares her own experience of being on the receiving end of tough love and how that was central to her recovery from BPD. In her exploration of tough love for loved ones of those with BPD A.J. Mahari also focuses on expectations generally, and of love as well and the importance of not enabling, not rescuing, while still being able to cope with caring.
© A.J. Mahari, March 2009
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