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Treatment services

The Dartmouth Park Unit offers a number of treatment approaches for people with personality disorder.

  • Mentalisation-Based Treatment - (MBT)
  • Structured Clinical Management - (SCM)
  • Schema Focused Therapy - (SFT)
  • Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy - (DIT)
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy- (DBT) - This therapy treatment is currently suspended due to staff changes.

Read more about these approaches below.

Mentalisation Based Treatment (MBT)

MBT is a psychological therapy for patients with a primary diagnosis of Personality Disorder. MBT consists of a combination of individual and group sessions and are in accordance with NICE recommendations for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, and is provided at the Dartmouth Park Unit. MBT is a here-and-now and recent past based therapy – it acknowledges that early/childhood experiences contribute greatly to a person’s self-image, self-beliefs and relationship styles, but that change can only occur in the present, i.e. by working out the reasons why interpersonal difficulties arise, based on (often faulty) assumptions and past experiences, and then doing something different from what the person has done up to now, so that different outcomes can occur.

Schema Focused Therapy (SFT)

Schema therapy integrates elements of a variety of therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Object Relations, Attachment theory, Gestalt. It focuses on lifelong negative patterns of behaving, thinking, emotions, relating and coping with life. Sometimes also known as lifetraps, schema are like a blueprint for understanding ourselves in relation to others and the world. When problematic, they can lead us to become 'stuck' in some area of our lives that we cannot change, and can lead to problems such as low self-confidence and getting involved in unhealthy relationships. This therapy helps clients to understand their lifetraps and the childhood origins of these, and work towards developing new healthy life patterns.

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.

Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT)

DIT is a brief, semi-structured psychodynamic therapy. DIT focusses on clients’ experience of themselves and others within a relational framework. This primarily involves exploration of clients’ 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 a heavy focus on the relationship between client and therapist as representative of the clients’ relationships and experiences outside of the therapeutic dyad. Within the DIT model, clinicians will generally look for the underlying meaning of communications and experiences, and frequently, will relate this to the relationship or interaction patterns that have otherwise been the topic of the therapy.


We also offer a Mindful Outdoors Group

Service users already under the care of the Personality Disorder Service (eg., in treatment), can attend this group which runs weekly in Waterlow Park (next door to the Personality Disorder Service). For more details, please contact us (020 3317 6999) and ask for Brigid.

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