During Jenna's second semester at the counseling center, a beginning therapist, Mark, asked her what intervention might be appropriate for a client who scored high on the trait of dependency. By misunderstanding the relationship between personality styles and personality traits, Mark was naturally looking for the single best approach. Once he understood, however, that his new case was better described as a dependent style, he was able to look deeper into the client's personality and tailor a variety of interventions to her interpersonal conduct, use of defense mechanisms, and cognitive distortions.
DSM to equate diagnostic thresholds across disorders with their associated level of severity. Individuals who meet the minimum diagnostic threshold for a personality disorder, Axis II, should be relatively equal in terms of the severity of their pathology, Axis V No such studies have ever been done. Consequently, research questions that ask whether a particular technique is more effective with dependents than with borderlines are impossible to answer, for the latter are likely to be more pathological from the moment of sample selection. In the future, it is hoped that the understanding of personality pathology as anchored to the entire matrix of the person will lead to more adequately operationalized criteria sets for the Axis II disorders and, in turn, to a synergistic form of therapy as integrative as are the disorders themselves.
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