chapter  5
44 Pages

Fundamental treatment strategies for optimising interventions with people with personality disorder


Personality disorder is characterised by profound difficulties within the interpersonal sphere. These difficulties in relating to others pose a challenge to services and practitioners attempting to offer treatment. Clinicians advocating several models of therapy – e.g. dialectical behaviour therapy (Linehan, 1993), integrity model of existential psychotherapy (Lander and Nahon, 2005), mentalisation based treatment (Bateman and Fonagy, 2004) and transference focused psychotherapy (Clarkin et al., 2006) – describe detailed strategies for individual or group therapists to improve the quality of the therapeutic relationship with personality disordered patients. However, there is an absence of guidance that can be utilised beyond the boundaries of formal psychological interventions which contributes to staff who are not trained to deliver psychological therapies struggling to identify how to ensure their contacts with clients are therapeutic.