Personality Disorders, as defined by the DSM-V, are characterized by enduring maladaptive patterns of behavior, cognition, and inner experience, exhibited across many contexts and deviating markedly from those accepted by the individual’s culture. These patterns develop early, are inflexible, and are associated with significant distress or disability.
I have found that Personality Disorders are often some of the most difficult diagnoses to treat, for a variety of reasons. I take an approach that is different than those used by many other practitioners. I use a combination of psychoeducation, CBT, and a style that I will loosely refer to as “tough love”. I think it is important to establish a therapeutic rapport wherein the patient can feel accepted without fear of judgment but, at the same time, I make certain to set clear limits and boundaries from the very beginning of treatment to ensure that my patients learn to make independent decisions, learn to cope with feelings of abandonment, reduce codependent behaviors, curb impulsive behaviors, and learn to act on logical thinking rather than on emotions, in addition to ensuring that I do not become involved in any enabling behaviors. I am also available to help families in understanding Personality Disorders as well as to help them get control of their own enabling or maladaptive behaviors in interacting with their diagnosed loved one.
I have expertise in diagnosing Personality Disorders and am more than thrilled to be able to provide more information on this topic. I look forward to speaking with you!
Keeley Teemsma, MA, MSW, LCSW