A personality disorder is a deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behaviour of a specified kind. This behaviour can cause long-term difficulties in personal relationships or in functioning in society.
Some of the main symptoms of an individual suffering from a Personality Disorder can include being overwhelmed by negative feelings including anxiety, hopelessness’, or anger, avoiding other people, feeling empty and disconnected from reality, self harming and violence. They may also have difficulties in maintaining stable and close relationships.
It is likely that when the individual is placed under pressure or is faced with stressful situations the symptoms will worsen.
Often therapy for individuals with Personality Disorder requires commitment and can take long periods of time. Within Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, during the assessment stage the client and therapist identify what problems the individual has been experiencing and develop some realistic goals for therapy.
A strong focus is usually paid towards developing effective problem solving skills and developing skills in being able to regulate emotions more effectively. Both practical and cognitive strategies are discussed and taught and the individual is encouraged to practice these skills outside of the sessions.
Additionally, within therapy the client and therapist identify what the individual’s core beliefs about themselves, others and the world are. Time is then spent modifying these beliefs so that when they are altered they are more in touch with reality.