Integrated Treatment of Personality Disorders – A Modular Approach


ID-1008751                                                              Image courtesy of dan at

edited by W. John Livesley, Giancarlo Dimaggio, John F. Clarkin

Kindle – Location 323 of 12177

“The current zeitgeist tends to imply that therapists should use one or more of these evidence-based therapies.  This approach is encouraged by advocates of specific treatments, who often argue that their treatment is the most empirically validated or in some way more comprehensive than the rest.  This volume was motivated by a different perspective:  the conviction that the treatment of personality disorders is entering a third phase characterized by a greater concern with integrating treatment principles and methods across therapies, the use of eclectic and pragmatic treatment strategies, and the emergence of more modular and transdiagnostic approaches focusing on specific domains of personality pathology rather than global diagnoses. For want of a better term, we refer to this approach as Integrated Modular Treatment (IMT). We suggest that individual patients present with a unique array of problems spanning multiple domains of functioning and that treatment should utilize an integrated array of strategies and techniques to address these diverse impairments.  With this approach, domains of impairments such as symptoms, problems with emotion and impulse regulation, interpersonal patterns and self-identity problems, and overall severity of dysfunction are the focus of intervention, rather than a more globally conceptualized categorical disorder.

… Here we use the term integrated to refer to an approach that combines an eclectic array of treatment principles, strategies, and methods drawn from all effective treatments and uses them in a targeted way to treat specific impairments.  … For now we note our conviction that the time is right to integrate treatments:  Outcome does not differ substantially across therapies, and the field is recognizing that personality disorders are complex conditions with multifaceted psychopathology and multidimensional biopsychological etiology. These developments challenge continued reliance on treatments based on one-dimensional models of specific personality disorders that assume a single impairment and hence rely upon a limited set of treatment methods.”

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