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Counselling for Personality Disorders in Melbourne

What is a Personality Disorder?

According to James Masterson those with deficits in the ‘self’, are known to have personality disorders, also known as ‘disorders of the self.’ These are  individuals who have an impaired ‘self’, resorting to destructive coping mechanisms to escape unwanted feelings.  The self stays depleted and impaired when emotions cannot be handled within, so individuals resort to seeking instant pleasure or distractions, in order to avoid facing feelings.  Addictions, affairs and avoiding to face reality are ways to escape feelings. Counselling for personality disorders in Melbourne overcomes impairments in self functioning, so the individual can rebuild the capacity within the ‘self’ to function and cope with life challenges.

Treatment for Personality Disorders

Often, our earliest painful experiences are re-experienced in our relationships, work or life; if  the feelings remain unresolved. Often unconscious blind spots get in the way of seeing ones ‘self; or others clearly.  Life events can stir up the feelings  already within us, so we project them out, to ward off the pain. Often many locate the blame in others, for how they feel. It can be the partner, work situations or the boss that trigger these feelings, not realising they are deep down within us. These feelings will not go away  if we continue to externalise the problems,  as everyone else’s fault but ourselves.

Attending counselling in Melbourne services  allows individuals to work through feelings. By locating these feelings inside ourselves, allows them to be reprocessed and better managed. So these feelings can be accepted within, so that they don’t need to be defended against or projected onto others. When feelings are managed within, the ‘self’ becomes stronger to cope and function with life, improve relationships and work. While the ‘self’ becomes more able to deal with all kinds of emotions, instead of uses defences to cope.

A individual with a personality disorder can become confused if their emotions belong within them or caused by others. They may push down anger and project anger outside of them, seeing others mean or mistreating them. A person with a integrated sense of self will be able to distinguish their emotions from others, and see if someone is abusive or not. When the anger is so pervasive, it is pushed out of us as a defensive mechanism, so we see others being angry instead. A  person may think the waitress was rude for not serving them. They may get angry at their boss for giving them constructive feedback. They may feel their partner is uncaring when they are busy. These  reactions causes them to misinterpret things that happen and distort how they perceive others. They can take people the wrong way, misunderstanding their actions.

Individuals with personality disorders believe that what they are feeling is caused by others, they do not know how to distinguish if these feelings belong in them. A person with a healthy sense of self can determine if their emotions are being triggered, they can separate their own feelings from others. Healthy individuals are not as affected by other people and they are less likely to take it personally or react. They can see the waitress was stressed and wasn’t deliberately ignoring them.

A person diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) might feel rejected if the therapist didn’t return their call straight away, they may take it personally, perceiving the therapist as not caring or not wanting to see them. A Narcissistic personality disorder might be disappointed when their partner does not agree with them or being not be on the same page, leaving them to feel not important. A Schizoid individual might feel attacked by their partner wanting to talk to them, feeling bombarded and wanting to remove themselves from the conversation in order to get space. These are examples of how others are misunderstood.

Personality Disorder

Fear of Abandonment

Often these feelings derive from our past, and do not pertain to the present situation, but it gets acted out, because it feels as if they’re re-living their emotions, again. It becomes  re-awaken again, but if feels a though others are causing them to feel this way. In therapy for personality disorders,  these feelings become better managed within the therapy. So the feelings go back to where they originated from, and do not distort reality in the present. As a result of therapy, these individual are able to see themselves and others more accurately, and respond according to the real situation, not their perceived fantasy.

Borderline, Narcissistic and Schizoid Personality Disorders

Often personality disorders result from using defensive coping mechanisms, to ward off these  intolerable feelings, because they are too painful for them. A person with  Borderline Personality Disorder will defend against abandonment feelings with clinging and angry defences. The Narcissistic Personality Disorder patient will act superior or devaluing in order to avoid feeling criticised. The Schizoid individual will feel unsafe or trapped when they get too close, so they will withdraw to get back control of their self.

Most of these individuals will feel more comfortable defending against these feelings, because it relieves them of the pain.Yet, these coping behaviours become destructive for them and it prevents them functioning in life and causes interpersonal difficulties in relationships.  So their real emerging self remains under-developed. Life feels empty without having  investments in their self, when individuals remain stuck in these defensive positions. So many become stuck by finding ways to escape or seek instant gratification, because the self remains empty. These unhelpful coping methods get in the way of  relationships, often causing relationships to breakdown. When these feelings cannot be tolerated within, people escape them with angry outbursts, marital affairs, sexual promiscuity, emotional withdrawal, addictions  and inability to hold down jobs. When the ‘self’ remains impaired, these self defeating behaviours further spirals downwards, causing anxiety  and  depression.

For more information on counselling for personality disorders in Melbourne, regarding borderline, schizoid or narcissistic, call on 0449 861 147 or use the enquiry form below

All content is copyright 2017 Nancy Carbone

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