Understanding Personality Disorder

Course overview:

This course aims to bring clarity and practical understanding to anyone supporting a person diagnosed with Personality Disorder. The course will assist delegates in critically evaluating the diagnosis with a view to de mystifying this complex and poorly understood mental health condition. Understanding the causes and maintenance of the persons’ day to day problems is a core component of this training which aims to equip staff with knowledge and  practical skills with which to respond more effectively to persons’ diagnosed with Personality Disorder.

Course content:

  • What is personality disorder?
  • Understanding concepts of ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ personality
  • The spectrum of personality traits from healthy to ‘disordered’
  • How is personality disorder diagnosed?
  • Characteristic features
  • Problems with the diagnosis
  • Different types of personality disorder
  • How does someone develop these types of problem?
  • Treatment pathways for personality disorder
  • Recovery from problems associated with personality disorder
  • Principles of effective support including consistency, promoting security within boundaries and maintaining an effective relationship.
  • Assessing and managing risks associated with personality disorder
  • Managing our feelings and reactions within the support relationship
  • Focus on anti social personality disorder (ASPD): practical approaches to engagement, risk of harm to self and others, substance use and supporting recovery and self-management
  • Focus on borderline personality disorder (BPD): practical approaches to managing emotions, self-harm, managing the relationship, the importance of validation, supporting recovery and self-management
  • Psychotherapy for personality disorder: brief overview of recommended treatments including Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Mentalisation based therapy, Schema therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Further sources of support and resources for persons diagnosed with personality disorder
  • Staff support – making the most of peer support and supervision


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