About us

In our work with people diagnosed with a personality disorder, we’re guided by the following treatment principles:

Respectful and collaborative relationships

We strive to develop and maintain respectful and collaborative relationships with other health services, and with everyone who uses our services. Our staff are broad-minded and embody a variety of theories, views, methods and styles of treatment. We are committed to fostering a climate of open enquiry, where we aim to learn from a variety of experiences to help determine the best care for clients. Our aim is to ensure that all clinicians and clients are well supported.

A developmental understanding

Our approach to treatment is based on acknowledging early childhood experiences, including the potential effects of trauma and neglect. We also recognise that difficulties with emotions and relationships lie at the heart of a personality disorder.

Relationship-based treatment

We believe that positive, healing relationships with the treating team are central to the process of change. We also acknowledge that developing and maintaining effective relationships can be difficult, particularly in the context of past experiences of difficult relationships.

Learning from experience

Our staff are non-reactive and therapeutic in responding to conflicts that may arise during treatment. We focus on patience and take a non-blaming and non-judgemental stance. We also recognise that staff and people receiving services from Spectrum are doing the best they can.

Valuing different perspectives

Several different theoretical models and treatment approaches for BPD are supported by research. As no one treatment model is superior, we don’t recommend one approach over another. Divergent approaches share common features, or related techniques, that are equally effective for addressing the central features of BPD.

Empathy and empowerment

All effective treatments emphasise the importance of listening, empathy, and validation of the individual’s experience. There is also general agreement on the importance of empowering clients and increasing their ability to manage their emotional and relationship difficulties that would otherwise lead to patterns of self-harm, suicidality and other crises. We understand that initially these emotional and relationship difficulties can feel potentially overwhelming. .


Clients and staff are supported to take responsibility for themselves and their actions.

Long term perspective

Treatment is generally long-term and requires thoughtful planning in order to manage transitions, crises, and breaks in therapy.

Service co-ordination and collaboration

Often more than one worker and more than one type of service are needed to address an individual’s needs. These comprehensive treatment plans frequently require well-co-ordinated, integrated and appropriately supported services as part of an on-going, active collaboration between the person receiving treatment and the services that support them.

Comprehensive treatment frequently requires well-co-ordinated, integrated and appropriately supported service engagement. An important requirement for effective treatment is on-going, active collaboration between the person receiving treatment and the services that support them.

Treatment Plant Template (PDF, 86KB)

Staff support and supervision

As the work can be complex and emotionally demanding, it’s essential that we provide strong support for our staff. To ensure the quality and sustainability of what we do, we are committed to supporting and training our staff, and ensuring they have a space to reflect on how they and their client interact.

How do you give feedback about treatments from Spectrum?

Spectrum welcomes all feedback from people who access a Spectrum service. We encourage people to first speak with their Spectrum clinician, a Spectrum Team Leader, or the Associate Clinical Director. However, you may also provide written feedback through our website or the Eastern Health website.