Personality Disorders

Resilience Psychological Services

Resilience Psychological Services

Personality Disorders


The term “personality disorders” encompasses a range of conditions that are all characterized by habits of thinking and behaving that are unhealthy and inflexible, leading to significant difficulties with relating to others or with perceiving a situation clearly. This can make it difficult for someone to recognize that they have a personality disorder. Instead, they may recognize that they’re facing persistent and frustrating challenges at home, work, school, or in other activities of daily life. They may consider therapy because they feel like they have an issue with addiction or impulsive behavior. Or, in other cases, a family member or friend may recommend that they seek therapy to discuss some of their experiences or challenges. 

Because it can be difficult for an individual to identify themselves with a specific personality disorder—particularly when the disorder itself features trouble with accurate perception—consulting a trained therapist who specializes in personality disorders is a critical first step in finding relief from the many challenges associated with having a personality disorder. While most of us demonstrate, to an extent, some of the many personality traits which are seen in these disorders, it’s when these traits become pervasive or inflexible that our relationships and overall well-being are negatively impacted. 

Personality disorders also tend to be highly stigmatizing: Because they’re marked by patterns of thinking and behaving that tend to, by definition, differ from the norm, personality disorders can sometimes lead the people who have them to believe that there is something inherently wrong or “defective” about themselves. This can be incredibly painful. Yet issues of personality are actually far more common and treatable than some believe. Indeed, character structure can be shifted in long-lasting ways.

What do we mean by ‘character structure’ or ‘personality’? Many in the field conceptualize personality as a combination of innate temperament and traits developed during early upbringing. Having chaotic or very harmful early life experiences (such as child abuse, abandonment, or neglect), or having primary relationships that are generally unsupportive or overbearing, can be a risk factor for developing a personality disorder. Genes also play a role here: People with family members who have a personality disorder may be at higher risk for developing one themselves.



First of all, we want you to know that we recognize how painful and sometimes scary it can be to live with a personality disorder. And we’re here to help. At Resilience, we specialize in treating those with traits associated with personality disorders like borderline, narcissistic, dissociative, and schizoid conditions. We believe in the power of providing compassionate, confidential care in a trusting therapeutic relationship. 

Our patients with personality disorders have found therapy extremely beneficial in making strides towards understanding their condition; seeing how the condition may have been informed by early life experiences or inherited family disorders; discussing how their personality disorder has impacted their activities, relationships, self-perception, and perceptions of others; and considering how therapy might provide insights that support an evolving and healing personality structure over time. We can also help you to understand and change specific symptoms associated with your disorder, such as impulsive behavior, difficulty coping with stress, challenges maintaining relationships, or emotional responses that are either very inflated or markedly diminished. Sometimes of our patients with personality disorders see us for therapy while also seeing a psychiatrist or other practitioner for medication. 

Personality disorders can feel so frustrating, painful, and stubborn. We consider it a privilege to accompany individuals who are on the long path to understanding and healing from these disorders. While it can take significant time, effort, and tremendous courage to begin this path, it doesn’t have to be done alone. We’re here for you. We’re also available to speak with families for whom one family member is suffering from a personality disorder. Please contact us today for a free consultation to discuss how we can best be of support to you.


Common experiences:

•  Difficulty creating or maintaining relationships
•  Fragile self-image
•  Recurring legal interaction
• Intense, or unstable, relationships
•  Impulsive, or irresponsible, behavior
•  Distrust in others
•  Feelings of emptiness

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