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Personality Disorder Treatment

Personality Disorder Treatment

People’s personalities reflect their unique behavioural and mental traits. Personality disorders refer to rigid, maladaptive patterns of thoughts, behaviours and emotions that are consistent across many situations and very different from behaviours accepted within one’s cultural and societal context. The patterns seem to develop early and often cause distress and even disability. As with other diagnoses, behaviour and traits must cause significant disruption in one’s personal and social functioning to be classified as a personality disorder.

Trying to classify personality disorders is problematic. Many experts believe social, sociopolitical and economic considerations render this classification of disorders very subjective and therefore not useful.

Patterns associated with ten specific personality disorders:

Paranoid Personality Disorder – distrust and suspiciousness of others

Schizoid Personality Disorder – detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of emotional expression

Schizotypal Personality Disorder – acute discomfort in close relationships, cognitive or perceptual distortions, and eccentricities of behaviour

Antisocial Personality Disorder – disregard for and violation of the rights of others

Borderline Personality Disorder – instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects; and marked impulsivity

Histrionic Personality Disorder – excessive emotionality and attention seeking

Narcissistic Personality Disorder – grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy

Avoidant Personality Disorder – social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation

Dependent Personality Disorder – submissive and clinging behaviour related to an excessive need to be taken care of

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder – preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control

Borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is believed to affect approximately two percent of the general population. Because BPD can create marked instability in relationships, self-image, thinking, and behaviour, individuals with this condition often report emotional pain and significant difficulty managing their emotions. This often leads to feelings of emptiness and difficulties with anger and impulsivity, such as self-harm, risky sexual behaviour, disordered eating, or excessive spending. There are often dramatic and frequent shifts in emotions towards others. An emotionally sensitive temperament paired with an invalidating (i.e., punishing or dismissive) environment may contribute to the development of emotional dysregulation commonly seen in BPD. BPD is a serious illness and can be life threatening. Reports indicate that up to 75% of individuals with BPD have a history of suicide attempts and approximately ten percent commit suicide.


Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is considered the treatment with the most scientific support for individuals with BPD. DBT evolved from standard cognitive behavioural therapy and Zen practice. Cognitive therapy can help to identify particular patterns, trace their origin, assess how such patterns can affect greater fulfillment in one’s life, and help one to develop alternative ways of thinking and behaving. The goal of DBT is not only to treat BPD, but also to create a life of meaning. DBT includes a focus on teaching a person skills, including mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Why choose CBT Associates?

CBT Associates is a large, well-established and rapidly-growing network of clinics that provides evidence-based psychological services to children, adolescents, adults of all ages, and couples.

We are a highly-qualified group of over 50 psychologists and psychological associates who provide personalized, compassionate, respectful and discreet treatment with the highest level of... Read More

What is the policy for cancelled or missed appointments?

To help us reliably meet the needs of all our clients, we must ask you to provide 24 hours’ notice when cancelling or rescheduling an appointment. Appointments without sufficient notice will be charged the full fee.

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What is a psychologist?


  • Are registered healthcare professionals who are regulated like physicians, surgeons, and dentists.
  • Work with individuals, groups and organizations to promote positive change by assessing and treating psychological problems.
  • Are trained to assess problems accurately using psychological tests and semi-structured interviews.... Read More
What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychologists are closely aligned with psychiatrists as both are highly-trained professionals. Psychiatrists are oriented toward pharmaceutical solutions (some illnesses in fact lend themselves to medication versus talk therapy, such as severe depression or schizophrenia); while psychologists are oriented toward talk therapy as a solution.

Psychologists and psychiatrists both undertake... Read More

What is the difference between a psychotherapist and a psychologist?

The first important difference between psychotherapists and psychologists is the number of years of education and training required to register by each college. The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario requires members to complete any recognized training program in psychotherapy, with 450 hours of direct client contact, and 100 hours of clinical supervision. In contrast, to... Read More

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