Therapy for Clients with Personality Disorders Essay

Therapy for Clients with Personality Disorders Essay

Therapy for Clients With Personality Disorders

Personality disorders refer to a group of psychological illnesses leading to a comprehension of enduring an arrangement of behaviors and thoughts that tend to be inflexible and detrimental. Persons with these orders usually find it hard to overcome such enduring behavior and thought patterns in their daily lives. Research shows that, in some cases, the patients could be aware of their conditions and, therefore, open and willing to counseling; it is never easy for both the therapist and the patients (Hopwood et al., 2018). Therefore, the purpose of this assignment is to explore paranoid personality disorder and explain the therapeutic approaches and the therapeutic relationship in psychiatry


Description of the Personality Disorder

The chosen personality disorder is a paranoid personality disorder. This disorder is one of the conditions under the cluster “ A” disorders and usually entails odd and eccentric ways of thinking. Individuals who have paranoid personality disorder show suspicion and constant mistrust, even in cases where there is no reason or issue causing suspicion (Cowan, 2019). The DSM-V criteria connect the diseases with suspiciousness and distrust of others. Hence, an individual becomes suspicious, suspects without cause, and full of unjustified doubts. In addition, such individuals find it challenging to confide in others and often see threatening meaning from people and events. In the end, the individuals hold grudges culminating in attacks of reputations and characters.

The Possible Therapeutic Approaches.

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Various therapeutic approaches exist for this condition. One of the possible approaches that can be applied is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This is an approach used to help individuals to have improved awareness of their automatic thoughts hence having an ability to notice and understand how the thoughts impact their feelings and behavior (Doustkam et al., 2021). Therefore, this approach has been selected because, through it, a person possesses an enhanced sense of mastery of emotions and feelings and improves their communication, self-esteem, social interactions, and coping skills. This therapeutic approach allows and provides for a follow-up on treatment, helping to address the problem of failing to follow treatment plans among these patients.

The Therapeutic Relationship in Psychiatry.

From the psychiatry perspective, a therapeutic relationship refers to an interactive relationship that develops between therapists with a patient and involves professionalism, positivity, and care. Sharing the diagnosis of this disorder with the client can be a tough act of balance as it can damage a therapeutic relationship (Taylor et al., 2020). The fact that patients with paranoid personality disorder have thinking patterns that are likely to negatively impact their relationship maintaining ability and focus does not make matters any easier. Therefore, I would share the results through an informal talk, trying to interview the patient about their life and also their family. When operating with individuals, I would integrate their thoughts and feelings while sharing the diagnosis to help them cope with the news best. In the case of family or group sessions, I would prefer to seek the family members’ opinions on how best to share the diagnostic findings with the patients as they know their kin better. This will improve the chances of the patients taking positively the message passed across.


In conclusion, personality disorders usually have various negative impacts on the patients hence a need to address them using appropriate solutions or strategies. One of such conditions is a paranoid personality disorder. Therefore, this write-up has explored paranoid personality disorder. The description, DSM-V criteria, and possible therapeutic approach have all been explored.


Cowan, A. E. (2019). Personality Disorders. In Guide to Intellectual Disabilities (pp. 229-241). Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-04456-5_17.

Doustkam, M., Pour Heydari, S., Karimi Sadr, F., & HOSSEINI, A. (2021). the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral unit therapy on facial expression bias and fear of negative evaluation in paranoid students. Journal of Psychological Achievements28(1), 91-110.

Hopwood, C. J., Kotov, R., Krueger, R. F., Watson, D., Widiger, T. A., Althoff, R. R., … & Zimmermann, J. (2018). The time has come for dimensional personality disorder diagnosis. Personality and mental health12(1), 82.

Taylor, D. M., Gaughran, F., & Pillinger, T. (2020). The Maudsley practice guidelines for physical health conditions in psychiatry. John Wiley & Sons.


Individuals with personality disorders often find it difficult to overcome the enduring patterns of thought and behavior that they have thus far experienced and functioned with in daily life. Even when patients are aware that personality-related issues are causing significant distress and functional impairment and are open to counseling, treatment can be challenging for both the patient and the therapist. For this Assignment, you examine specific personality disorders and consider therapeutic approaches you might use with clients.
To prepare:

Review this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on the insights they provide about treating clients with personality disorders.
Select one of the personality disorders from the DSM-5 (e.g., paranoid, antisocial, narcissistic). Then, select a therapy modality (individual, family, or group) that you might use to treat a client with the disorder you selected.
The Assignment:
Succinctly, in 1–2 pages, address the following:

Briefly describe the personality disorder you selected, including the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria.
Explain a therapeutic approach and a modality you might use to treat a client presenting with this disorder. Explain why you selected the approach and modality, justifying their appropriateness.
Next, briefly explain what a therapeutic relationship is in psychiatry. Explain how you would share your diagnosis of this disorder with the client in order to avoid damaging the therapeutic relationship. Compare the differences in how you would share your diagnosis with an individual, a family, and in a group session.

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