Help Is On Hand for Family Members of People with Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and/or Depression

A popular Philadelphia workshop is coming to two Philadelphia suburban locations to help family members of people with borderline personality, bipolar and/or depressive disorders deal with the many challenges they face daily. “Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster” Family Skill-Building Workshop in Wallingford, Delaware County, will run for 10 Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., from March 13  to May 22, 2014 (with no class on April 17). The same workshop in Montgomery County will be held in Plymouth Meeting, also on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., from Thursday, April 10, to June 19, 2014 (with no class on May 22). Sponsored by the Training and Education Center (TEC) of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the workshops will be facilitated by a licensed therapist specializing in caregiver issues, a trainer who is also in recovery from one of the disorders, and a graduate of the workshop who mentors other family members. The cost is nominal.

“Hearing people with these disorders tell their stories, and the workshop’s emphasis on what we can do to promote recovery and not inhibit it, were the most helpful aspects for me,” said one father, who took the workshop with his wife. His 31-year old son’s depression led the son to move back home. “You need hope, and it’s also great to know you’re not alone. You’re part of a larger community dealing with this,” the father said. A mother of a 40-year old daughter with borderline personality disorder commented, “This course provided great tools each week and sharing of real stories. After the workshop, things with my daughter became easier and clearer. What I was doing before had been part of the problem.” 

TEC director Edie Mannion – who created the training with Talya Lewis, a peer educator who has lived experience with borderline personality disorder – named the workshop based on how many times in her 32-year family therapy career she has heard family members say, “I feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster!” “We wanted to help them get some brakes and a steering wheel,” Mannion said. 

Workshop participants will get support, key information about these disorders, and skills such as preventing caregiver burnout, regulating their emotions, validating others’ emotions, setting limits and dealing with crises such as self-injury, suicidal thinking or violent behavior. “We wanted to give family members the sense of control that comes from knowing how to handle the twists and turns, and having hope that things can get better,” Mannion said.

Registration is required. Contact Mary Catherine Lowery: 267-507-3865 or
The mission of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania is to “promote groundbreaking ideas and create opportunities for resilience and recovery by applying the knowledge learned from the people we support, employ, and engage in transformative partnerships.”

PHILADELPHIA (2/25/14) – Press contact: Edie Mannion, 267-507-3863, 



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