Therapy for Personality Disorders
Individuals with personality disorders struggle in significant ways, often with major difficulties in sustaining healthy relationships, self-esteem and self-concept, employment, and emotional regulation. These conditions were once considered untreatable by many in the mental health profession due to the deeply-held beliefs and maladaptive defense mechanisms, however, we strongly believe that significant change and recovery can occur..
The American Psychiatric Association defines a personality disorder as an “enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment.”
The personality disorders currently recognized by the American Psychiatric Association are:
Research shows there are a variety of factors that can contribute to the development of a personality disorder that include genetics, physiological temperament, and childhood trauma and abuse. Some suggest that these syndromes are the result of childhood adversity and insecure attachment which subsequently lead to maladaptive ways of seeking safety and security in what is viewed as a hostile world. For example, underneath the narcissistic personality is a lonely, insecure child who has learned to cope in maladaptive ways. Many view personality disorder diagnosis as unhelpful, as they are mere descriptions of symptoms and traits which says nothing as to the origin or roots of the problem.
It is important to recognize that not everyone has a full personality disorder, and that many clients will have unhelpful personality traits that fit across multiple categories. In addition, individuals with the same diagnosis may present in vastly different ways. As such, appropriate treatment planning and interventions will vary significantly from person to person and it will be important to work collaboratively with your clinician to find what works for you.
We at Mangrove Therapy Group are extremely passionate about treating personality disorders and are not afraid of working with complex, difficult presentations. We believe that everyone has the right to heal and create amazing lives for themselves.