Defined by stable, long-term, subjective distress and/or social impairment, personality disorders affect up to 18% of the population. Social impairment and health care usage are far more prevalent among people with personality disorders than among people with major depressive disorders. Personality disorders are highly prevalent, variable, and notoriously difficult to treat, and they continue to challenge the therapeutic community and represent a formidable public health concern.
This volume ably addresses personality disorders as one of the top priorities of psychiatry for the new millennium, offering a thorough and updated review and analysis of empirical work to point up the issues central to developing a therapeutic model for treatment as well as current research challenges. A review of extant research yields the heartening conclusion that psychotherapy remains an effective treatment for people with personality disorders. An examination of psychodynamic treatment for borderline personality disorder speaks to its efficacy. An analysis of the rationale for combining psychotherapy and psychopharmacology emphasizes the importance of identifying temperament and target conditions. A well-documented and reasoned treatise on antisocial personality disorder makes the crucial point that clinicians must acquire a depth of understanding and skill sufficient to determine what the cut-off point is for treatable versus nontreatable gradations. With the caveat that evidence supporting the efficacy of cognitive treatments for personality disorders is slight and that such approaches require tailoring, a strong case is made for their validity.
This timely volume both answers and reframes many stubborn questions about the efficacy of psychotherapy for treating personality disorders.