Personality Disorders Service (PDS)

Personality Disorders are characterized by an enduring pattern of inner experience and behaviour that is seen to deviate markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture.  Psychological explanations often consider personality disorders to arise in the context of the interconnection between an invalidating childhood environment and pre-disposing biological factors.  The experience of complex trauma is also understood to play a role in the development of Personality Disorder.

Features of Personality Disorder include significant instability in interpersonal relationships, difficulties with self-image, unstable mood, and problems with impulsive behaviour. There can be a pattern of rapid fluctuation from periods of confidence to despair, with fear of abandonment and rejection, and for some a strong tendency towards suicidal thinking and self-harm. Transient psychotic symptoms may also be present.  Personality Disorders are associated with substantial impairment of social, psychological and occupational functioning and quality of life. People with borderline personality disorder may self-harm and they are particularly at risk of suicide.

The Personality Disorders Service offers psychological assessment, staff consultation and psychological treatment of Personality Disorders.  The current treatment modality offered by the PDS is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for Borderline Personality Disorder.  DBT is a NICE recommended treatment which focusses on the reduction of self-harming behaviours.  In order to be referred into the PDS, clients will need to have a Care Co-ordinator or a Lead Professional attached to a Community Mental Health Team.