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About City

Jöel Pascoal Carvalho

Department of Psychology

E: joel.carvalho.1@city.ac.uk

Thesis title: Borderline Personality Disorder: deconstructing the diagnosis

Supervisors: Dr Pavlos Filippopoulos

Higher educational background

Bachelors in Psychology and Sociology

Masters in Social Work (MSW)

Overview and research interests

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V (DSM V) describes Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, and marked impulsivity that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts. Borderline Personality Disorder has similar symptoms with Axis I disorders. BPD may be an underlying contributing factor to another disorder but the BPD individual may not be diagnosed with BPD due to the symptoms pertaining to a 'more serious' illness such as depression or schizophrenia (Kreisman, J.J. & Straus, H., 1989, pp.20-21).

Although vast psychiatric literature exists on Borderline Personality Disorder this project addresses the gap in research by offering a critical point of view to the Psychiatric/Medical model.

The research will explore three wide perspectives of BPD:

  • Sociological aspect
  • Psychological construct
  • Treatment and support.

The methodology: Qualitative methodology will focus on the use of personal accounts to explore how BPD is constructed by the different social groups involved with it such as psychologists (health professionals), social workers, etc. The findings will potentially enable us to explore if a monitoring of the diagnostic criteria's validity is needed.

The study will use diverse approaches to analysis with a focus on discourse analysis thus focusing on the use of language by trying to understand why the BPD individual is presenting with the problem. Analysis will study the disorder within the context in which it is manifested.

Research interests

  • Personality disorders
  • Abnormal psychology.