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Research Seminar Series - Views from the “dustbin”: Experiences of diagnosis, care and treatment, and parenting with severe Borderline Personality Disorder

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START DATE 10 October 2018

Middlesex University Dubai, Oasis Theatre

END DATE 10 October 2018

We are pleased to invite you to Wednesday Research Seminar. It will be held on October 10th from 4pm, at Middlesex University Dubai in the Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Knowledge Park. The Wednesday Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008, and has featured 230 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions. Dr Anthony will deliver seminar on:

“Views from the “dustbin”: Experiences of diagnosis, care and treatment, and parenting with severe Borderline Personality Disorder”

Dr Anthony David Murphy

Middlesex University Dubai


A vast body of evidence highlights negative attitudes among different health and social care professionals towards individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Negative attitudes and inconsistent interactions are implicated in poor outcomes, including: increased stigma, self-stigmatisation, disengagement from treatment, and malignant alienation, often contributing to increased symptomatology, self-harm, and suicidal ideations and behaviours. To date, efforts to understand the extent to which these attitudes are internalised by service users, from the perspective of service users, are marked by their paucity. Coupling this with research highlighting poor outcomes among the children of individuals diagnosed with BPD, along with a noted child protection risk among this group, this body of work aimed to increase understanding from the perspective of BPD-diagnosed parents themselves. Taking a phenomenological approach; through extensive IPA interview studies and a phenomenologically driven series of focus groups, this study examines diagnosis, experiences of care and treatment, and parenting. Participant experiences highlight negative attitudes and interactions with service providers exacerbating stigma, self-stigmatisation, and symptoms; a lack of understanding of the diagnosis and how it relates to the individual specifically, representing a barrier to engagement and therefore treatment; and a complex relationship between symptoms and self-perceived parenting challenges. These findings are discussed in relation to previous research, demonstrating inconsistency and iatrogenic interactions during the period of diagnosis and treatment, identifying further impact on parents and parenting (and therefore child). The process and utility of diagnosis is also examined, demonstrating a diagnostic trajectory model to the BPD parent patient group.


Dr Anthony Murphy developed an interest in forensic psychology during his undergraduate studies at Middlesex University. After completing an MSc in forensic psychology, conferring stage 1 forensic psychologist status, he began working in medium and high secure forensic psychological care with high risk violent psychiatric offenders in the United Kingdom, along with several prisons. During this time, Anthony was offered a PhD scholarship with Middlesex University after developing a study to examine the experiences of parents who gain a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, where he was also employed as a part-time lecturer. During the later stages of his PhD, he was employed by the University of West London as a senior lecturer in forensic psychology and as a visiting lecturer at the Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. Additionally, on a consultative, part-time basis Anthony also acted as an assistant clinical forensic psychologist to the West London Mental Health Trust, including Broadmoor, River House, and Chaffinch ward in medium and high secure, psychiatric care. 

His interest in forensic psychology is victim, offender, and institutional in focus, and recently his research has aimed at using the tools of psychology to improve policing, investigation, and outcomes for victims, specifically in relation to the crime of rape in the United Kingdom. He has a number of ongoing research collaborations with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (London), King’s College London, and The University of West London.

Anthony was employed as a Senior Lecturer by Middlesex University, Dubai in January of 2018 where he hopes to build relationships with government organisations and broader professional networks in order to research, provide training, and develop the evidence base on which decisions are made in law, criminal justice, and beyond. He is also interested in broader themes surrounding forensic psychology; violence; clinical psychology; psycho-legal process; gender, equality, and human rights. His work has been directly involved in training approximately 5000 police officers and specialist investigators and his research is published in international peer-reviewed journals. 

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