Patients with BPD are active in finding other people who will solve their problems for them but are passive in relation to solving their own problems.
On the other hand, they have learned to give the impression of being competent in response to the Invalidating Environment.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is based on a bio-social theory of borderline personality disorder.
Linehan hypothesises that the disorder is a consequence of an emotionally vulnerable individual growing up within a particular set of environmental circumstances which she refers to as the 'Invalidating Environment'.
Furthermore, an Invalidating Environment is characterised by a tendency to place a high value on self-control and self-reliance.
Possible difficulties in these areas are not acknowledged and it is implied that problem solving should be easy given proper motivation.
They are aware of their difficulty coping with stress and may blame others for having unrealistic expectations and making unreasonable demands.
The term 'Invalidating Environment' refers essentially to a situation in which the personal experiences and responses of the growing child are disqualified or "invalidated" by the significant others in her life.
The child's personal communications are not accepted as an accurate indication of her true feelings and it is implied that, if they were accurate, then such feelings would not be a valid response to circumstances.
However, it is in the nature of such an environment that the demands that she is allowed to make on others will tend to be severely restricted.
The child's behaviour may then oscillate between opposite poles of emotional inhibition in an attempt to gain acceptance and extreme displays of emotion in order to have her feelings acknowledged.