Personality Disorders

Do you know someone who is too self-absorbed, always “makes it about themself,” is manipulative and dramatic or intentionally hurts other people?

Have you or someone you care about been diagnosed with a personality disorder?

Personality Disorders are true emotional, psychological, and behavioral conditions — not simply someone with negative personality traits or attitudes. Personality disorders are life-long, rigid patterns of behavior, emotional expression, and beliefs, and these disorders cause serious problems and impairment in school, at work, and in relationships and families.

All Personality Disorders are thought to stem from a core personality trait called narcissism. Primary narcissism is actually a normal defense mechanism based in our survival instincts. We need to be self-absorbed or self-interested to defend ourselves from painful or threatening situations. However, a narcissistic trait or personality may become exaggerated and pathological. The following groups, or clusters, of personality traits usually stem from pathological narcissism:

  • Cluster A – Odd or Eccentric Behavior
    • Schizoid Personality Disorder (introverted, cold, distant, fearful of relationships)
    • Paranoid Personality Disorder (belief that others are threatening, disloyal or demeaning, untrusting, unforgiving, angry, jealous, secretive)
    • Schizotypal Personality Disorder (odd or eccentric patterns of behavior, speech, and dress; strange beliefs, social anxiety, inability to form close relationships)
  • Cluster B – Dramatic, Emotional, Erratic Behavior
    • Antisocial Personality Disorder (formerly known as sociopathic or psychopathic; violates normal rules of social behavior, impulsive, irresponsible, callous, aggressive, sometimes violent, with no remorse)
    • Borderline Personality Disorder (unstable in relationships, self-image, emotionally and behaviorally; vacillate from extremes of all good or all bad with themselves and others; self-destructive tendencies such as cutting behavior; poor sense of identity and feelings of emptiness)
    • Narcissistic Personality Disorder (attention seeking and interpersonally exploitative; self-important and self-absorbed; grandiose sense of self)
  • Cluster C – Anxious & Fearful
    • Avoidant Personality Disorder (few or no close relationships and fears of criticism or rejection by others; afraid of feeling embarrassed)
    • Dependent Personality Disorder (dependent on and submissive to others; easily hurt by criticism or disapproval; needy for reassurance by others; lacking in self-confidence and rarely initiates independent action)
    • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (“anal” individuals, whose lives’ center around rules and organization; perfectionists who are never satisfied; overly dependable and responsible; rigid and unable to adapt to change; risk averse)

People with personality disorders often improve with psychotherapy from an experienced, licensed professional counselor or therapist.

At the Relationship Center of South Florida, our staff of highly qualified, licensed counselors and therapists understands the complexities of personality disorders, and we provide the most up-to-date, compassionate care. Our approach to treating people with personality disorders includes the three most important areas of focus:

  1. Exploratory (psychodynamic) psychotherapy to understand the underlying causes and childhood factors that contribute to the personality traits or disorder.
  2. Solution focused and CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) to correct negative or destructive thoughts and beliefs, and to help people become more flexible and change behavior patterns.
  3. Interpersonal therapy and similar methods to help people with personality disorders recognize and understand the impact of their behavior on others and to make positive changes in relationships.

Please contact us today for more information or to arrange a consultation with one of our personality disorders specialists.