How is Reality Integration Therapy™ (RIT) different from Traditional Therapy? 

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Authors: Sarah Phillips, Ashley J. Zahabian

There are several different therapeutic techniques out there which begs the question – how is Reality Integration Therapy™ different?  We’ve comprised a list to help you decipher the differences and decide if Reality Integration Therapy™ is for you!


Reality Integration Therapy™ consists of three steps that discerns it from any other therapy out there: 1. Fantasy Dismantling, 2. Separation–Individuation, 3. Integration & Whole Object Relations.  These steps are outlined in another article (linked here) if you’d like to read about them in more detail.  These steps allow you to address the root cause of the problem, rather than solely addressing all of the symptoms. 

Imagine a weed growing in your garden, and you keep trying to rip it out, but it keeps growing back.  Turns out, you were breaking off the stem and leaves but never actually uprooting the plant, so it grew back over and over.  Reality Integration Therapy™, and the three steps that it includes, is different from traditional therapies in that it very clearly identifies and digs out the disordered roots, so they don’t constantly come back.  You’ll find in many traditional therapies, the goal is to address the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder – emotional regulation, self-harm, splitting, etc. Reality Integration Therapy™ temporarily puts all of that aside to address the root cause of the personality disorder – the disordered personal – reality – the very lens in which the individual is viewing reality that is causing and perpetuating those symptoms. 

Through Fantasy Dismantling, the individual is guided deep within to find and address their disordered roots (the disordered lens of reality, aka the fantasy that is dismantled). This is where, for the first time, they can see just how fantasy-driven and unhealthy their roots (which is their lens) really are.  During Separation – Individuation, the individual then begins to uproot the problem and really dig it out – they separate from these roots and their previous lens to make room for a new one.  Finally, with Integration & Whole Object Relations, the user has completely gotten rid of the unhealthy roots and grows new ones over the bare soiled area.


It seems like you can find everything online these days.  There are plenty of online self-help workbooks and programs for depression, anxiety, and some other psychological disorders.  However, there isn’t an online, self-administered program for effectively addressing Borderline Personality Disorder.  Our program, which walks you through the three steps of Reality Integration Therapy™,  allows you to address your BPD on your own from anywhere, at any time.  No license required.  This means if you don’t want to make appointments to talk to a stranger about your problems, you don’t have to!  No one even needs to know you are participating in the program if you’re a private person.  Take healing into your own hands.


Reality Integration Therapy™, through the Integrate BPD program, includes eight self-paced modules, each of which should take the user approximately one month to complete.  Additionally, users gain access to an online community of individuals who are all working through Reality Integration Therapy™ (with daily interactions/responses), as well as weekly 60-90 minute LIVE lectures – both optional.  Traditional therapies cost a copay every week for a 45-minute individual session with a therapist.  With our program, every individual is given so much more for their time, as they can work on their disorder on a daily basis, contact others going through the same process, and are provided educational lectures throughout. 


Reality Integration Therapy™ and Integrate BPD came to fruition when Ashley Zahabian sought her own answers for her experience with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  After years of participating in traditional therapy, Zahabian noticed while it may have helped for a while, her symptoms always returned.  She wanted a solution for her problems, not just a bandaid.  Determined to find her own answers, Zahabian delved into psychoanalytic research and came across object-relations theory.  It seemed so simple and obvious, she wondered why object relations was never explained to her.  Not by any of the therapists she worked with, nor by dozens of doctors she saw – no one.  Realizing there were thousands upon thousands of people with BPD who would run into the same problems as her, she made it her mission to share what worked for her with the BPD community. 

Despite what many therapists and doctors believe, Zahabian believes that BPD does not have to be a life-long disorder.  Reality Integration Therapy™ was created as a long-term solution, not short-term symptom management.  When you address the root cause of the disorder, there is no need for constant symptom management.  A childhood disruption in object relations can be restored in adulthood thanks to Reality Integration Therapy™.

ONGOING RESEARCHOur team works to track users’ symptoms and collect ongoing data to prove how effective Reality Integration Therapy™ is over time.  As individuals progress through each module, they take an inventory of their symptoms and are provided with their results.  If they so choose, individuals can have their data published on our website in order to contribute to the BPD community, and can also choose to consent to participation in our ongoing research studies aimed at contributing to the literature on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

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