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Treatment for Personality Disorder

One treatment option that has been used for Personality Disorder is medication.  For instance, opiate antagonists such as naltrexone have been studied for use on patients with BPD.  Specifically, their dissociative symptoms may be reduced with the use of the drug (Naltrexone, 2000).  However, it is well known that drugs are not going to address the complex issues faced by someone with a PD.

Treatment for Personality Disorder

Many mental health professionals agree that current interventions for adults with BPD are poorly coordinated and gravely ineffective.  The problem is that individuals with the disorder are difficult to recruit for any treatment programs.  They only use them in times of crisis, but do not generalize what they learned to the next crisis they face.  Most researchers agree that the complexity, severity, and long-term nature of the illness necessitate a long-term treatment approach.

One form of therapy, developed by Linehan in 1993, was specifically designed to address borderline personality disorder (BPD).  Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was developed to address chronic para-suicidal behavior in women with BPD.  This therapy is one of only a few that directly attempts to intercept individuals with suicidal tendencies.  In addition, DBT is only concerned about the diagnosis as it related to behaviors and prognosis of treatment.  It addresses behaviors of individuals in the present context, but when the behaviors are eliminated, this form of therapy considers the diagnosis to be non-existent.

One of the most important factors in DBT is the relationship of the therapist and client.  Much energy is spent exploring how the client and therapist reciprocally influence each other.  If a client responds aggressively every time the therapist addresses a certain problem, and this causes the therapist to refrain from targeting that problem, then therapy will be less effective.  Also, DBT is based on the idea that reality is comprised of opposing forces, the thesis and antithesis.  The resulting friction is used as a tool in treatment.  In summary, “DBT is a very interpersonal therapy and uses the dialectical tensions within the therapeutic relationship rather than impersonal logic to promote change”.

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