Personality Disorders

Self-help Strategies for OCD and OCPD

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) are said to affect two to three percent of the population for OCD (that is: more than 500,000 Australians) and one percent for OCPD, although three to ten percent of the psychiatric population is said to have it (Long, 2011). Many cases probably go untreated. As a therapist, what can you give to obsessive clie... »

The Phenomenon of Dissociation

Have you ever seen a movie in which the main character wakes up in a strange hotel room, dressed weirdly, with no idea how she got there, and no relationship to the name she gave hotel staff upon check-in? Such drama is the stuff of Hollywood depictions of dissociative disorders. Dissociative identity disorder (DID), known as multiple personality disorder (MPD) until renamed in the DSM-IV (America... »

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in Practice

There are four primary modes of treatment, or elements, in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: (1) Therapist consultation groups; (2) Individual therapy; (3) Telephone contact/crisis coaching and; (4) Group skills training (Mind, 2013). Not all DBT programs carry all four modes of treatment. When they do, the various modes can be described as follows. Therapist consultation groups: An essential aspe... »

Fundamentals of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, or DBT, was developed in 1993 by U.S. psychologist Marsha Linehan for use specifically with clients diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), who cope with distressing emotions and situations by using self-destructive behaviours such as suicide and self-harm, eating disorders, and substance abuse. Linehan’s assessment of the therapies available to BPD cli... »

Treating NPD in the Therapy Room

Benjamin (1996) asserted that therapy interventions for narcissism could be evaluated in terms of five categories of correct response: whether or not the intervention enhanced collaboration, facilitated learning about patterns, blocked maladaptive patterns, strengthened the will to give up maladaptive patterns, or facilitated new learning. In this article, we take each in turn. »

Aetiology of Borderline Personality Disorder

The causes of Borderline Personality Disorder are complex and remain uncertain. No current model has been able to integrate all of the available evidence. However, the following have been named as contributing factors to the cause of borderline personality disorder. These include: Genetics; Neurophysiological and neurobiological dysfunctions of emotional regulation and stress; Psychosocial histori... »

Helping Clients Deal with Narcissists

This article focuses on how practitioners can assist clients in dealing with narcissists. You will be introduced to some of the “positive traits” that make narcissists attractive at first sight. You will also learn the criteria for Self-Defeating Personality Disorder (SDPD) and get a range of “survival tips” to help clients deal with narcissists in their life. »

Narcissism: The Basics

This article explores the concept of narcissism and how it manifests in individuals. You will also be introduced to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), including its epidemiology, symptoms and diagnostic criteria. »

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, or OCPD, is characterised by perfectionism and an excessive concern with maintaining order (Barlow & Durand, 2009). This perfectionism is often dysfunctional because such individuals are always careful not to make mistakes as such, check for minor details and errors. Because they are often preoccupied with trivial details, they use time poorly which can p... »

A Brief Introduction to Dissociation

There are few constructs in psychology that are as misunderstood as those relating to dissociation. There are times when many of us have experienced the sensation of being away from ourselves – so engaged in a book or movie that we lose track of time, or driving somewhere and having no memory of the journey. This is a very basic understanding of the concept however does explain the basic element o... »

An Overview of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a disorder characterised by severe disturbances in thinking, emotion and behaviour that are disruptive to a person's life. Schizophrenia is characterised by changes in mental function where thoughts and perceptions become disordered, and there is a loss of contact with reality. »