Cognitive Therapy for Personality Disorders

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The 1990s saw several developments of cognitive therapy for personality disorders. Beck, Freeman & Davis (2003) adapted traditional cognitive therapy for each of the DSM-IV personality disorders. Layden et al. (1993) developed a more in depth adaptation for borderline personality disorder, and Linehan (1993) developed a more integrative behavioural-cognitive Zen Buddhist approach for this client group. Meanwhile, Young developed a schema-focussed cognitive therapy for personality disorders, which emphasises the importance of underlying schema change in this group (Young, 1994; Young, Klosko, & Weishaar, 2003). Several preliminary effectiveness studies suggest that these approaches produce significant symptom changes in people diagnosed with personality disorders (Kuyken et al., 2001, Linehan etal., 1999; Linehan, Heard & Armstrong, 1993). It is premature to comment on whether these are evidence-based interventions although several large-scale trials are currently under way.

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