The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells

The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells

“Randi Kreger has done it again! With her new book, she continues to make the dynamics of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) readily accessible to those of us who love, live with and treat people who suffer from this complex condition.” Blaise Aguirre, MD, Medical Director, Adolescent Dialectical Behavior Therapy Residential Program, McLean Hospital

“Kreger’s communication techniques, grounded in the latest research, provide family members with the essential ability to regain a genuine, meaningful relationship with their loved one with Borderline Personality Disorder.” Debra Resnick, Psy.D., President, Psychological Services and Human Development Center

“This book offers hope for those who think their situation has none.” Rachel Reiland, author of Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder

For family members of people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), home life is routinely unpredictable and frequently unbearable. Extreme mood swings, impulsive behaviors, unfair blaming and criticism, and suicidal tendencies common conduct among those who suffer from the disorder leave family members feeling confused, hurt, and helpless.

In Stop Walking on Eggshells, Randi Kreger’s pioneering first book which sold more than 340,000 copies, she and co-author Paul T. Mason outlined the fundamental differences in the way that people with BPD relate to the world. Now, with The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder, Kreger takes readers to the next level by offering them five straightforward tools to organize their thinking, learn specific skills, and focus on what they need to do to get off the emotional rollercoaster: Take care of yourself Uncover what keeps you feeling stuck Communicate to be heard Set limits with love Reinforce the right behaviors

Together the steps provide a clear-cut system designed to help friends and family reduce stress, improve their relationship with their borderline loved one, improve their problem-solving skills and minimize conflict, and feel more self-assured about setting limits.

Randi Kreger is the co-author of Stop Walking on Eggshells and the author of The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook. She operates, one of the top web-based resources for those living with BPD, and runs the Welcome to Oz online family support groups based at her web site. Cofounder of the Personality Disorder Awareness Network, Kreger is frequently invited to lecture on BPD and related issues, both for clinicians and laypeople.


  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden (October 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592853633
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592853632
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
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  1. Very few books can actually change your life. Randi Kreger has written two. “Stop Walking on Eggshells” (SWOE) changed my life and the lives of many others. “The Essential Family Guide” now offers the tools to family members and professionals to help deal with BPD with great efficiency and effectiveness.

    “The Essential Family Guide” hits the nail directly on the head and drives it home. Where SWOE left off, the Family Guide picks up. It is critical reading for everyone – including counselors, psychologists, and legal professionals – living with or dealing with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (a “BPD”).

    After reading through the first few chapters, I realized that “The Essential Family Guide” is the next step in my own recovery in dealing with my BPD ex-spouse and in caring for my children exposed to this disorder. If you are coping with a BPD – personally or professionally – you must read the Essential Family Guide.

    I think of and hear from others out there dealing with the craziness of a BPD in their lives and searching for understanding. If I can convince one person to read The Family Guide and get the benefit that I have received from Randi’s books, then I will have done a good thing.

  2. I thought nothing could ever top the first book Randi Kreger co-wrote (“Stop Walking on Eggshells”) but her newest book does it—I wish I could give ten stars instead of five. This seemingly simple book is one of the top five most useful books I’ve ever read in my life—I’ve already reread it twice, and will be reading it again in the years to come to help keep me in the right mental place. If you want to not only understand emotionally troubled people, but also do something concrete to help yourself, push the button and order this book right now.

    There are so many powerful and easy-to-use tools provided in this book that it’s tough to figure out which ones to mention in this review. They all give concrete answers to the seemingly unanswerable question that always arises whenever you’re faced by a troubled personality–what do you do about it?

    For example, I’ve always heard that you need to “set firm limits” with people who would overstep your boundaries. But personally, I never really quite understood what the word “limits” actually meant, and I certainly didn’t know how to set them. Nothing I ever read on the topic helped much, because what little I found was so vague.

    But Randi gives example after concrete example of what limit setting actually means in a variety of situations, emphasizing throughout that it’s important to understand your own greater sense of what’s fair and right for yourself as well as for others. Her chapter on uncovering what keeps you feeling “stuck” provides a terrific explanation of a problem in relationships with people who are troubled. In the chapter on communication, Randi describes precisely how to communicate and actually be heard.Read more ›

  3. My wife, I suspect, has BPD, and I read Randi’s book, “Stop Walking on Eggshells”, about a year and a half ago. I then participated in Randi’s on-line support groups, and generally attempted to follow some of the advice in that book and on that site, without much success, frankly. This new book is helping me much more in understanding and empathizing with my wife, but I still think it doesn’t quite get what is the most effective means for interacting with a borderline.

    It’s hard for me to explain the overarching problem I see with the book so I’ll focus on one example. “Power tool #5: reinforcing right behavior” makes the point that, when a BP’s traditional behavior does not get the reward they seek, they frantically repeat the behavior in an effort to get the reward (which Randi refers to as an *extinction burst*). My impression is that, for Randi, the “reward” is that the non complies with the borderline’s desires, or accepts the abuse, or gets attention, and so on.

    Rather than a focus on what is the actual emotion that the borderline is trying to communicate (albeit very ineffectively–that is why they call this a disorder, and specifically a disorder of emotion regulation), Randi is focused in this section on the behavior that one might want to stop, using “limits.” She provides several examples of borderline behavior that one might want to stop, such as them calling you at work many times a day, or saying hurtful things to you. She describes “setting a limit” for each (for the first, explaining that you can take a maximum of 3 calls per day from the BP aside from emergency calls, for the second explaining to your BP that the conversation is uncomfortable and that “I’m going to my room.Read more ›

  4. Book Review of “The Essential Guide to BPD…New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells”
    Written by Randi Kreger (co-author of Stop Walking On Eggshells; author of Stop Walking On Eggshells Workbook)

    Being a long time parent and advocate of people wo have BPD, I had planned on just skimming this book, thinking I’ve read so many books on BPD I don’t need to read this one front to back. It didn’t happen, I read the book word for word all the way through, including re-reading parts to help it settle in all the way.

    The first half of the book gives an exceptional description of BPD, including what it is like from the inside of a person with BPD. The second half is stocked full of different ways to deal with BPD behavior to help, not only to prevent the behavior, but helping those of us who love someone with BPD. Also the approaches are done in a way to actually help our loved ones with BPD learn ways to behave in a more appropriate way. It offers help for the family as a whole!

    Randi has put in the book some of the latest information about BPD and unlike other books on BPD, I never felt defensive while reading it… blaming the parents or insisting everyone with BPD was abused or traumatized. Very up-to-date stuff in this book and written in a way that us “everyday” people can understand.

    While reading it, different members of our online parent group came to mind many times, thinking I need to tell this one this and that one that and I began highlighting the book. Eventually I realized that there were more highlighted areas than non-highlighted areas, which means it really is important to read the whole book and not just a snip here and there.

    If you cannot purchase the book please request your library get one, after you read it, just think of others who will benefit from it! There isn’t much out there for us families and she has definitely been a leader in getting books out there to help us.

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