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"I" is for Insult: questioning Borderline Personality Disorder

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, many events listed on this website are likely to be cancelled. Please contact specific event organisers for up to date information on whether or not the event will go ahead.


This one day workshop will cover both practical and theoretical approaches to the disputed diagnosis of "Borderline Personality Disorder", facilitated by someone with lived/living experience of these issues. It aims to strike a balance between questioning the construct and discussing practical approaches to some of the difficulties associated with it.  This is to minimise the risk that in the context of ever decreasing budgets, changes in theoretical approach could inadvertently restrict access to support.

What the workshop covers:

  • Feminist and queer issues around "Borderline Personalilty Disorder"
  • Is Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder a viable alternative to "BDP"?  What might ICD-11 mean for those currently diagnosed?
  • Everyday trauma:  day-to-day erosion and the idea of "a stable sense of self"
  • The multiple meanings and functions of self-harm
  • Practical and creative approaches to self-harm and suicidality, including harm minimisation, managing clinical fear of risk, and particularly the minimisation of iatrogenic harm


Who is this course for?

This training is intended for anyone with a personal and/or professional interest in "Borderline Personalilty Disorder" and related issues such as self-harm, suicidality and trauma.  It is not a therapeutic workshop, but survivors/service users and clinicians, support workers etc., are welcome. Attendees should expect some of the subject material to be difficult and possibly triggering, but will be welcome to take a break at any time during the day.

About the Trainer

Rachel Rowan Olive is an illustrator, researcher and mental health service user/survivor with a particular interest in women's mental health.  She combines her artwork and research experience to facilitate training; her work has appeared in Asylum Magazine, on the Mental Elf website and in the Independent. She is a Trustee of the National Survivor User Network.  You can find her on twitter and Instagram as @rowanolive.


  • Unwaged: £12
  • Self-funding part-time earners and students: £50
  • Self-funding full-time earners and voluntary sector organisations: £100
  • Private and Statutory organisations (including NHS): £125

(Please note:  the full fee will be chargeable if you cancel less than 7 days before the event

Date and Time: Friday 27th September from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm

For more information and to book please contact Akiko Hart:









Cardboard Citizens
77A Greenfield Road Whitechapel
E1 1EJ London