Cognitive Therapy for Personality Disorders

Robert L. Leahy and Lata K. McGinn

in The Oxford Handbook of Personality Disorders

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199735013
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Cognitive Therapy for Personality Disorders

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Personality disorders are prevalent and common among patients presenting for treatment. Research suggests that personality disorders are associated with significant impairment and can exert a negative impact on psychological and pharmacological treatments for Axis I disorders. Despite this, treatment development and research for personality disorders has lagged behind those of Axis I disorders. The present chapter describes two major cognitive models of personality disorder—the cognitive model advanced by Beck, Freeman, and colleagues and the schema model advanced by Young and colleagues (a brief review of the dialectical behavior therapy model is also provided). The chapter presents research on both theoretical models and outlines similarities and differences between the two theoretical formulations. A description of the therapeutic relationship in cognitive therapy is also provided. The components of treatment are presented followed by a case example for purposes of illustration. Finally, the chapter summarizes the extant research on the treatment of personality disorders. Although the data are encouraging, suggesting that personality disorders are responsive to treatment, further controlled trials are still needed.

Keywords: theoretical models; cognitive therapy; schema therapy; personality disorder; treatment; treatment outcome

Article.  17035 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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