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Table 14 Main psychopathological items in the description of different Psychopathological Functioning Levels (PFLs) in Borderline Personality Disorder

From: Psychopathological Functioning Levels (PFLs) and their possible relevance in psychiatric treatments: a qualitative research project

Items PFL 1 PFL 2 PFL 3 PFL 4
ID Partial symbolic and pre-symbolic representations of self (nuclear identity) Splitting and idealization of self and others representations (split identity) Avoiding consequences of being aware of one’s own and others contradictory qualities (anti-ambivalent identity) Anti-ambivalent and hyper-ambivalent aspects of identity
CO Impaired comprehension of one’s own and others behaviors in terms of thoughts, desires and expectations Comprehension of one’s own and others behaviors, thoughts and emotions, only if they do not upset self-image Concrete thought Poor tolerance of contradictory aspects of one’s own and others behaviors, thoughts and emotions
When divergent motivations stem from comprehension of one’s own and others behaviors, thoughts and emotions, they are not integrated
NE Anger, depression, feelings of emptiness Irritation, depression, feelings of emptiness Anger recognition, shame, depression, feeling of emptiness Guilt, sadness, dissatisfaction, feelings of emptiness
AR Self-damaging and/or alienating behaviors Threats of self-harming and/or alienating behaviors Ideas of self-harming and/or alienating behaviors At some extent, impulsive and/or blocked behaviors
SS Poor capability to manage social autonomies Unstable tolerance for engagements and relations Attempts to work Poor flexibility in distancing or approaching others
Low tolerance of loneliness
  1. Legend:
  2. PFL Psychopathological Functioning Level, ID Identity, CO Comprehension, NE Negative Emotions, AR Action Regulation, SS Social Skills
  3. Modified from Ferrero A.: The Model of Sequential Brief-Adlerian Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (SB-APP): Specific Features in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 2012, Vol. 15, No. 1, 32–45