The Mastersonian Approach to Borderline Disorder of Self
April 19, 2018 Vancouver Island Regional Library, 300 6th Street, Courtenay BC V9N 9V9 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM Free


The term ‘borderline’ has received considerable attention from within all psychotherapeutic modalities. Initially approached as a ‘midway diagnosis’ between the neurosis and the psychosis, various theorists such as Meissner, Giovachinni, Rinsley, Kernberg, Fonagy and Masterson have greatly added to, and aided, the modern clinician in understanding the complex symptomology of the borderline disorder of self.

Currently clinicians can rely on a variety of clinical approaches to borderline patients such as ‘mentalization based treatment’ (MBT), ‘transference focused psychotherapy’ (TFT), ‘dialectical behavioral therapy’ (DBT) to name only a few.

It will be the aim of the current paper to trace the developmental, self and object relations approach of James Masterson and the work endeavored by the International Masterson Institute. Emphasis will be on the intrapsychic development of the disorder and how the clinician can access and successfully treat the internal life of patients diagnosed as borderline in both short or longer term psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

The following learning objectives will aid the session:

  • Why a developmental, self and object relations approach? How do we view the mind and development?
  • Differential diagnosis- how to differentiate various intrapsychic processes, the use, and limits of the DSM, working with levels of psychic integrity, cautionary tales, and general ethical guidelines.
  • Review of the split object relations units, that is, the withdrawing object relations part unit (WORU) and the rewarding object relations part unit (RORU) as defined by Masterson.
  • General interventions and how we listen to the structure of inner experience.
  • Case studies of both clinging and distancing borderline disorders of self.

About the Presenter: 

Loray Daws is a Registered Clinical Psychologist with the Health Professions Counsel of South Africa and a Registered Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia, Canada. He graduated from the University of Pretoria and served as a full-time lecturer from 1998 to 2006. Whilst lecturing psychometric assessment, psychopathology, and psychodynamic psychotherapy, he also acted as consultant for the Department of Periodontology in the Faculty of Health. During this period, he published both nationally and internationally, lectured at various psychiatric hospitals, private clinics, and tertiary institutions. In 2003, he participated in founding the Rorschach Institute of South Africa and served as board member from 2004-2007.  Loray was also assistant editor of the South African Rorschach Journal (2005-2007) and remains co-director of the South African Masterson Institute for the study of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Since formally leaving the University of Pretoria he completed a three year post- graduate certificate in psychoanalytic psychotherapy for the disorders of self (personality disorders) and serves as faculty member at the International Masterson Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in New York since 2010. Loray moved with his family to Vancouver Island in 2009 where he currently works as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in the Comox Valley. Never far from the academic field, Loray still serves as assistant editor for Global Journal of Health Sciences, evaluator, and international advisory board member of the International Journal of Psychotherapy (IJP), assistant editor at EPIS (Existential Psychoanalytic Institute and Society), and has published articles on dreaming, psychosomatic disorders, the disorders of the self, and is the editor of three books.  He also supervises and teaches in South Africa, Canada, the United States, Australia, and Turkey.