A minority of clients referred to the eating disorders, stress and anxiety disorders clinic or depression and mood disorders clinic are unable to recover full mental health with relatively short term (5 to 20 sessions) therapy due to the more chronic problems of early trauma (such as childhood abuse) or long standing personality disorders. These clients are referred to the Personality Disorder (PD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Clinic.
Personality Disorders are generally characterized by one of three types: (a) the borderline – histrionic, narcissistic type, (b) the avoidant-dependent type or (c) the paranoid – schizotypal – schizoidal type. Personality problems are generally complex and characterized by typical longstanding patterns of behavior, emotional response and thinking patterns. Each predominant personality type has a distinctive history and psychological conceptualization within the cognitive therapy model. Each also has a different approach to treatment, which is based on the cognitive conceptualization.
Therapy in this clinic is of necessity generally long term (i.e. 6 months to several years in duration) and is offered in group format or through individual therapy. The approach to therapy is influenced strongly by the leading cognitive therapist in the area of personality disorders, Dr. Jeffrey Young. It emphasizes a self accepting and non-judgemental philosophy while encouraging clients to assume responsibility for their well being.