Personality Disorders

What personality disorders are

  • Marked by distorted thinking patterns, problematic emotional responses, exaggerated or under-regulated impulse control, and interpersonal effectiveness over an extended period of time.
  • Organized into three different “Clusters” based on corresponding characteristics within each “Cluster”.
    1. Cluster A, characterized by extreme distorted thinking, social awkwardness, and social withdrawal, includes: Paranoid, Schizoid, and Schizotypal Personality Disorders.
    2. Cluster B, characterized by emotional dysregulation and poor impulse control, includes: Borderline, Narcissistic, Histrionic Disorder, and Antisocial Personality Disorders.
    3. Cluster C, characterized by pervasive feelings of fear and anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative assessment, includes: Avoidant, Dependent, and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorders (adapted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition).

Our program philosophy

  • Comprehensive and strengths-based
  • Includes (up to) three individual sessions a week, approximately four psychoeducational groups each day, weekly meetings with the staff psychiatrist, psychologist, dietitian, and clinical director
  • Incorporates elements of spirituality, mindfulness, nutrition, art, movement/exercise, and psychotherapy
  • Interventions may include pharmacology, when appropriate

Goals for therapy

  • Identify dysregulation and gain skills to emotionally regulate
  • Learn and regularly implement practices of mindfulness (largely adapted from Diane Gehart)
  • Attend to and develop relationships (based on work of Marsha Linehan)
  • Recognize anxiety-inducing cognitive distortions
  • Learn distraction or self-soothing skills
  • Practice assertiveness and appropriate communication skills
  • Balance “wants” vs. “needs” (based on work of Marsha Linehan)
  • Reduce unhealthy defense mechanisms/reactions and impulsivity
  • Accept reality (based on work of Marsha Linehan)

Clinical modalities

Recommended reading

  • I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me by Jerold J. Kreisman, Hal Straus
  • The Buddha and the Borderline by Kiera Van Gelder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder: Understanding the Overly Rigid, Controlling Person by Martin Kantor, MD

If you are struggle with a personality disorder, Magnolia Creek can help you. For more information, please call 205-678-4373 or e-mail us at