Personality Disorders Treatment Approaches


Multiple approaches have been discovered to be more effective than single approach in treatment of personality disorder. Therapists have shifted significantly to multiple approaches as a major change in psychological treatment of personality disorder. It is quite imperative to note that are several approaches for psychological treatment of personality disorder (Rockland, 1994).

The current main psychotherapeutic treatment approaches to personality disorder are psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, system and biological approaches among others. These approaches rest on contrary theories and psychosomatic fundamentals that make practitioners who are conversant with single approach to feel contented with other approaches that are quite strange to already known approaches (Rathus, 2006).

The psychodynamic approach

This approach seeks to assist the victims of personality disorder to reveal all kinds of unconscious conflicts that result in bad behaviors. Therapists adopt this approach in conjunction with free association and dream analysis that aid in achievement of insight by the client that can impact on the unconsciousness depicted by the client. There assumptions underlying this approach. The practitioners and other therapist assume that unconscious forces and conflicts are battering the client and these forces and conflicts are responsible for sharply polarized attitudes that are possessed by the clients (Rockland, 1994).These forces are also assumed to be responsible for oscillating behavioral patterns depicted by persons with personality disorder. Persons with personality disorder tend to have negative attitudes towards certain figures in the society which they used to adore before and these attitudinal shifts are quite unpredictable. This approach is very useful in the sense that it promotes psychic integration by undergoing thorough examination of the polarized attitudes. Through this process, therapist gain experiences via the conveyance as harboring the strong feelings such as lust, hatred, jealousy etc. possessed by the client. The aim of this approach is to effect an amalgamation of until then incongruent and diversified elements in the patient’s psyche with apprehension that it will impact on the attitudes of the patient towards other people (Rathus, 2006).

The cognitive-behavioral approach

This treatment approach seeks to help the patient to eradicate the distorted thoughts and opinions that results in the maladaptive characters. Therapists who employ this approach slip in specific learning philosophies as well as addressing the patient’s faulty cognitions that results in the negative behavior being depicted by these patients. Therapy focuses on declining the propensity to dichotomous thoughts, helping the client build up improved control over his emotions and impulses, and intensifying the patient’s sense of identity (Rockland, 1994).

The humanistic approach

This approach tends to assist the client to achieve optimal growth through self understanding. Therapists who adopt this treatment approach employ the techniques of reflective listening in order to assist greater self perception and individual development of the client.

The systems approach

This treatment approach is adopted with the intention of helping the client to improve family relations and interactions to foster good socialization in the society. The approach places more concern on the personal problems that arise between the client and the rest of the family members. The lasting relationship between the patient and the rest of the family members is the main concern of the approach (Rathus, 2006). Other approaches include biological and supportive therapy approaches.

Work cited

  1. Rathus & Beverly, G. Abnormal Psychology in a Changing World. 6th edition, 100-170. 2006
  2. Rockland, L. Psychodynamic Therapy Approach. New York: Basic Books; 100-130. 1989.
Find out your order's cost