We examined the interpersonal functioning of 74 outpatients at a university-based community clinic in a naturalistic study. Twenty-three individuals diagnosed with borderline pathology (BP) were compared with a non-BP clinical control group (n = 51). Based on previous research, we hypothesized that individuals with BP would report significantly greater overall interpersonal distress as well as greater problems associated with non-assertive, overly accommodating, self-sacrificing and intrusive/needy relational behaviours. We found that individuals with BP reported greater interpersonal distress in regard to overly accommodating, self-sacrificing and intrusive/needy relational behaviours. A trend was observed in regard to differences in overall interpersonal distress. Evaluation of the group-level circumplex profiles confirmed group homogeneity in interpersonal problem endorsement, supporting the aggregate descriptions of interpersonal style as representative of individuals within each group. The clinical utility of our results, specifically in regard to psychotherapy process and outcome as well as therapeutic alliance, will be discussed. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.