Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are a type of mental health condition in which a person has long-term patterns of behavior and thought that are unhealthy and inflexible. Personality disorders are rare and usually greatly interfere with life and cause serious problems with personal relationships and work. Generally, individuals suffering from personality disorders are socially isolated and distrustful.  They may have difficulty making friends and tend to have mood swings, poor impulse control, turbulent relationships, and angry outbursts. There are a number of different personality disorders (paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive) and the symptoms of each disorder are different and can range from mild to severe. Sometimes people suffering from a personality disorder do not realize they have one because their way of acting and thinking seems normal to them. No one knows what exactly causes personality disorders, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Seeing a mental health professional is an important part of treatment for individuals who have personality disorders, which often get worse without help.

Local Experts in Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are conditions in which people have trouble relating to others and managing emotions, in a consistent way over time. Sub-types include borderline and narcissistic personality disorder. I have had success treating these conditions with a combination of skills-based Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and interpersonal therapy.

I have studied, reviewed literature and blogged about the topic of adult children of narcissists (ACON) for several years now. I am moved deeply by the struggles around identity, confidence, and self acceptance that ACONS can find themselves in, as well as how adult children of alcoholics often can have similar struggles.

I have 3 years of experience working with personality disordered clients. I have also seen up close how the legacy of this dysfunction continues to impact families. I am attuned to working with the attachment and self-esteem effects of growing up with a parent or sibling with a personality disorder.

I specialize in borderline personality disorder. I help clients who have trouble with connection, self-esteem, feeling safe, managing their emotions, self-harm, and/or acting out (burning relationships or opportunities to the ground) to feel safer and more able to express and experience emotions and connect with others in healthy ways. You are lovable. You are worthy of support and success.

I have had training in DBT, an evidence-based approach to addressing certain personality traits that can be distressful. I have used this approach for a number of years.

I have advanced training in helping clients overcome patterns of behavior that stem from their childhood experience and limit their effectiveness and creativity.

I am intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. DBT is the most widely accepted evidenced based treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. I work in a clinic that specializes in treating BPD. I teach DBT to other therapists and interns. I lead two DBT consultations in the area.

Personality 'disorders' indicate confusion, entangled and conflicting internal parts of self. We work toward identifying, accepting, disentangling, and finally integrating parts, reducing internal conflict and discovering compassion for self and other.

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