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Interventions Offered

The Personality Disorder Service offers a number of interventions for people with a diagnosis of a personality disorder:

  • Structured Clinical Management (SCM)
  • Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT)
  • Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) for Personality Disorder
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Read more about these approaches below.

Structured Clinical Management (SCM)

The Personality Disorder Community Team utilises the Structured Clinical Management (SCM) model; a model that gives clinicians a framework to guide their work with service users based on psychologically-informed best practice. The essence of SCM is based on a therapeutic model with

  • Case management/advocacy support
  • Problem solving and including collaborative goals
  • Active crisis planning
  • Medication as an adjunct where appropriate

All of these elements are aimed at engaging people in a way that means they develop the capacity to function in the community as independently as possible. This approach is not a rigid one but it there is a clear understanding of the ethos that underpins all of the work - one of working with people's strengths and abilities to build a life worth living.

Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT)

Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) seeks to improve our understanding of our own and other people’s emotional responses and behaviours. In order to have good relationships with others it is essential that we understand each other and ourselves reasonably accurately. What is going on in our mind to make us feel as we do? What is going on in the other person’s mind to make them behave like that?

The term mentalization refers to the ability to reflect upon, and to understand our states of mind. Mentalization enables us to understand what we are feeling and why, and to understand what someone else may be feeling and why. It is how we experience and understand our relationships with others.

MBT is a psychological therapy for patients with a primary diagnosis of personality disorder. MBT consists of a combination of weekly individual and group sessions, delviered over 18 months. 

Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) for Personality Disorder

Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) for Personality Disorder is an adapted version of DIT. DIT was originally developed as a short-term, semi-structured, psychodynamic therapy for people with a diagnosis of depression, whose difficulties had an interpersonal focus. DIT focusses on the client's experience of themselves and others within a relational framework. This primarily involves exploration of the client's perception and experience of relationships in their life (including how they relate to themselves), in the present day; but explicit links are also made with past relationships, particularly early parental / caregiver relationships. There is particular focus on the relationship between client and therapist as representative of the client's relationships and experiences outside of the therapeutic relationship. Once a core interpersonal pattern is identified, it will be used to understand and address difficulties in current relationships that are contributing to psychological stress.

DIT for Personality Disorder maintains the structure and form of the original model, but increases the length of the treatment in order to meet the more complex needs of someone with a diagnosis of personality disorder. DIT for Personality Disorder is delivered over 12 months, with weekly individual sessions.

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