“I admit I didn’t want to go to treatment. But after a week at Bridges, I knew it’s exactly where I needed to be. I feel so much better.”

— Bridges to Recovery Alumnus

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are a cluster of illnesses often characterized by the absence of a coherent sense of self, a lack of adaptability, extreme responses to stressors, and a profound struggle to maintain relationships and accept love. In addition to the deep pain and instability they can bring to the lives of people living with the disorders, they can also be particularly difficult for loved ones.

If you are living with a personality disorder, your family and friends may perceive your behavior as difficult and volatile, not understanding that these behaviors are expressions of the illness and your struggle to cope with overwhelming emotions. It is vital that the symptoms of these disorders are recognized and treated as part of your illness, rather than true expressions of your authentic self. The emotional turmoil and extreme responses you experience are the result of a medical condition, not character flaws or personal shortcomings. A nuanced understanding of personality disorders is crucial to reduce feelings of shame and isolation that too often accompany the diagnosis and embrace the potential for a more cohesive, stable self.

Historically, personality disorders have been considered among the most elusive mental health disorders to both diagnose and treat. As a result, people with personality disorders have had to endure increased stigma with few avenues available to make meaningful change. Even today it can be difficult to find treatment programs that effectively work with a primary personality disorder diagnosis.

Personality Disorder Treatment at Bridges to Recovery

Whether you are struggling with borderline, narcissistic, or dependent personality disorder, Bridges to Recovery offers you specialized, integrative therapies to help you move toward a more stable, fulfilling life and form loving, healthy relationships. Our psychiatrists provide diagnostic clarity and our entire clinical team uses the most up-to-date therapeutic modalities to create relevant, effective treatment plans for both primary and co-occurring personality disorders. An intensive structure allows you to be fully involved in the work of healing in a validating, compassionate environment that fosters new thought processes, insights, and behavioral patterns. If you engage in self-harm, the residential milieu can also be an ideal place for you to remain safe while involved in the therapeutic process. It is our mission to help you return to your life with an enhanced sense of self and ability to give and receive love.

Individual Psychotherapy

Individual psychotherapy forms the foundation for personality disorder treatment at Bridges to Recovery. We work to create a trusting therapeutic relationship between you and your clinician that invites full and honest exploration of your disorder and its impact on your life. Our therapeutic modalities include psychodynamic therapy that helps you address the life experiences, conflicts, and potential traumas that inform your disorder. This is complemented by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which focuses on changing present-day patterns of thought and behavior, giving you new tools to enhance adaptability and emotional regulation.

Group Therapy

Bridges to Recovery offers group Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), one of the most successful treatments available for some types of personality disorders. Due to the intense nature of our program, we have modified the traditional DBT framework to best meet the needs of our clients. Our groups are non-judgmental spaces where you can develop newfound skills in a collaborative environment that provides both validation and accountability amongst group members.


Although there are no medications specifically designed to treat personality disorders, medications can alleviate some symptoms and help reduce suffering. Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety drugs, and antipsychotics are among the medications that may be used to offer relief and enable you to engage in the behavior-focused aspects of treatment more fully. Close supervision by our on-site psychiatrists means that we are able to be as flexible and responsive as possible with the goal of effective treatment that enhances rather than hinders quality of life.

Family Therapy

Personality disorders present special challenges to a person’s social relationships. A person’s closest personal relationships are often where symptoms of a personality disorder manifest most intensely and can be the most damaging. Family therapy is a safe space in which you and your loved ones can work to resolve conflict, gain a greater understanding of each other’s needs and struggles, and begin to heal.

Please contact us for more information about how personality disorder treatment at Bridges to Recovery can help you or your loved one. Our compassionate, knowledgeable team is available to answer any questions you may have about our services, facility, and philosophy.

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