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Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy
—private offices in New York and New Jersey—

Manhattan, NY, Bergen, NJ
New York Local: (212) 996-3939

New Jersey Local: (201) 226-1880

Toll Free: (866) 438-7973

Psychotherapy, Counseling and Medication Management 

We'll Match You with the Right Therapist

Adult, Marriage, Couples, Family, Child, Adolescent 

Manhattan, NY, Bergen, NJManhattan, NY, Bergen, NJ

Call us and receive a Free Phone Consultation when you mention our URL (psychotherapynynj.com)

Commonly Treated Issues Include:

Abuse / Trauma
Addictions / Habits
ADHD
Alcohol / Drugs
Anger
Anxiety

Bipolar / Mood Disorders
Career / School
Caregiver Stress
Chronic Worry
Communication
Conflict / Trust

Depression
Eating / Weight Issues
Evaluations
Family
Illness / Grief / Loss
Learning Problems

Marriage
Medication
OCD / Obsessions
Pain
Panic / Fears
Parenting Issues

Personality Disorders
Relationships
Self-Esteem
Sex / Intimacy
Sleep Issues
Stress
Women's / Men's Issues

Therapy for Personality Disorders

What is a personality disorder?

Although it is difficult to define the term, “personality,” it generally refers to the way you think, perceive, and relate to social and personal situations.  Your personality typically characterizes you in most situations.  Usually, a healthy personality is steady, predictable, adaptable and adjustable.  However, if your personality is disordered, it cannot adapt to certain circumstances, which is distressing to both you and to those around you.  Personality disorders usually have a negative effect on your work, family, and relationships.

The symptoms of a personality disorder can vary from mild to severe.  Although those with mild personality disorders can be quite functional in their everyday lives, symptoms might become more prominent during times of increased stress or anxiety.  The more severe the symptoms, the more seriously the disorder will interfere with your emotional and psychological functioning. 

Symptoms of personality disorder include:

  • Instability in sense of self
  • Inappropriate range of emotion
  • Impulse control difficulty
  • Interpersonal relationship difficulties
  • Distorted perceptions of oneself, others, and the world

Ten types of personality disorders exist, all slightly different from one another.  A person who has a personality disorder can have symptoms that are mild, moderate or severe.  It is common for different personality disorders to co-exist and you can show signs of more than one disorder.  For example, obsessive-compulsive and avoidant personality disorder can be present in the same individual, borderline and narcissistic can coexist, etc.

Personality disorders are clustered based on general characteristics:

Cluster A: Eccentric and Odd

                                Includes: Paranoid, Schizoid and Schizotypal

Cluster B: Emotional and Dramatic

                                Includes:  Borderline, Narcissistic, Antisocial and Histrionic

Cluster C:  Anxious and Fearful

                                Includes:  Obsessive-Compulsive, Dependent and Avoidant

What is paranoid personality disorder?

Do you find that you often distrust people around you?  Are you sometimes suspicious and believe that others are out to get you?  If any of the following characteristics applies to you, you may have paranoid personality disorder.  A person who has a personality disorder can have symptoms that are mild, moderate, or severe.

  • You are suspicious, without sufficient basis that others are exploiting, harming or deceiving you.
  • You are preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates.
  • You are reluctant to confide in some others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against you.
  • You sometimes read hidden, demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events.
  • You often hold grudges.
  • You are often unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights.
  • You sometimes perceive attacks on your character or reputation that are not apparent to others and you are quick to react angrily or to counterattack.
  • You have recurrent suspicions regarding the fidelity of your spouse or partner.

If this sounds like you or someone you know and you would like more information about the treatment of personality disorders, please see the sections below entitled “What Causes Personality Disorders?” or “Are There Effective Treatments for Personality Disorders?”

What is Schizoid Personality Disorder?

Do you detach yourself from social relationships?  Do you like being alone? If any of the following characteristics apply to you, you might have schizoid personality disorder. These symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe.  

  • You do not want, or take pleasure in, experiencing close relationships (even with your family)
  • You are detached from others
  • You choose not to take part in social activities if that means you must be in contact with others
  • You only show a short range of emotions when with others
  • You have little to no interest in sex
  • You lack close friends or confidants
  • You are maintain distance from others
  • You give little thought when others praise or criticize you

Psychotherapy with a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist or clinical social worker can provide support in a non-judgmental atmosphere. A reparative relationship with a therapist helps the individual achieve positive changes. Greater empathy can increase for others as well as an expanded way of viewing the world. Repetitive dysfunctional behaviors are identified so that new behaviors can be substituted. As these new behaviors develop they will lead to greater interpersonal, social and professional satisfaction. Occasionally, medication can be useful for the person with a schizoid personality disorder.

If this sounds like you or someone you know, and you’d like more information about the treatment of personality disorders, please see “What Causes Personality Disorders?” or “Are There Effective Treatments for Personality Disorders?”

What is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Do you feel that you think differently from others?  Do others find you to be eccentric?  If this is the case, you may have schizotypal personality disorder.  Answer the following questions to check if you match the criteria for this disorder. These symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe.   

  • Are you detached from social relationships?
  • Are you suspicious or paranoid of others?
  • Is your thinking or speaking considered a bit odd to others?
  • Do you believe in magic, or believe in things that are not considered the norm in your culture?
  • Do you perceive things oddly?
  • Do you have few or no close friends?
  • Do you have anxiety in social situations?

Psychotherapy with a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or clinical social worker can provide support in a non-judgmental atmosphere. A reparative relationship with a therapist helps the individual achieve positive changes. Greater empathy can increase for others as well as an expanded way of viewing the world. Repetitive dysfunctional behaviors are identified so that new behaviors can be substituted. As these new behaviors develop they will lead to greater interpersonal, social, and professional satisfaction. Occasionally, medication can be useful for the person with a schizotypal personality disorder.

If this sounds like you or someone you know and you would like more information about the treatment of personality disorders, please see “What Causes Personality Disorders?” or “Are There Effective Treatments for Personality Disorders?”

What is Avoidant Personality Disorder?

Do you feel inadequate?  Are you sensitive to the opinion others have about you?  If you are experiencing these feelings, you might have avoidant personality disorder.  Those with this disorder usually develop recognizable symptoms by early adulthood. These symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe. 

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may be suffering from avoidant personality. 

  • Do you avoid occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact due to a fear of being criticized?
  • Do you have a fear of disapproval?
  • Do you have a fear of rejection?
  • Are you unwilling to get involved with people unless you are certain of being liked?
  • Do you show restraint within intimate relationships because of the fear of being shamed or ridiculed?
  • Are you preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations?
  • Are you inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy?
  • Do you view yourself as socially inept?
  • Do you view yourself as personally unappealing?
  • Do you view yourself as inferior to others?
  • Are you reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing?

Psychotherapy with a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or clinical social worker can provide support in a non-judgmental atmosphere. A reparative relationship with a therapist helps the individual achieve positive changes. Greater empathy can increase for others as well as an expanded way of viewing the world. Repetitive dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviors are identified so that new ways of viewing situations and people will emerge. More adaptive behaviors will increase which will lead to greater interpersonal, social and professional satisfaction. Occasionally, medication can be useful for the person with an avoidant personality disorder.

If this sounds like you or someone you know, and you’d like more information about the treatment of personality disorders, please see “What Causes Personality Disorders?” or “Are There Effective Treatments for Personality Disorders?”

What is a Dependent Personality Disorder?

Do you have a constant need for someone to take care of you?  Do you have a fear of being abandoned or separated from the important people in your life?  Dependent personality disorder could be the reason you’re experiencing these feelings.  If you have dependent personality disorder, you may find that you are acting in a “clingy” or “needy” manner.  Such symptoms usually present themselves by early adulthood. These symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. 

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may be suffering from dependent personality disorder.

  • Do you have difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others?
  • Do you need others to assume responsibility for most major areas of your life?
  • Do you have difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval?
  • Are you uncomfortable being alone?
  • Do you have difficulty initiating projects or doing things on your own because of lack of self-confidence in your judgment or abilities?
  • Do you go to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others?
  • Do you feel uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for yourself?
  • Do you urgently seek another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends?

Psychotherapy with a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or clinical social worker can provide support in a non-judgmental atmosphere. A reparative relationship with a therapist can help you achieve positive changes. You can develop an different more confident way of viewing yourself and the world. Repetitive dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviors will be identified so that new ways of viewing situations and people will emerge. More adaptive, confident, self-reliant behaviors will increase which will lead to greater interpersonal, social and professional satisfaction. Occasionally, medication can be useful for the person with a dependent personality disorder. .

If this sounds like you or someone you know and you would like more information about the treatment of personality disorders, please see “What Causes Personality Disorders?” or “Are There Effective Treatments for Personality Disorders?”

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?   

Do you surround yourself with those who admire you?  Do you always seek praise for all of your accomplishments? Do you dismiss those who criticize you even slightly or disagree with you and no longer associate with them? If you find yourself acting in such a way, you may have narcissistic personality disorder.  These symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. 

Check any of the following symptoms that apply.  If you have any of the following symptoms, you may be narcissistic.

You…

  • … feel that you are more important than others, or expect that you should be recognized as better.
  • … have fantasies of power, brilliance, unlimited success, ideal love, beauty
  • …  believe you are unique or “special,” and can only relate to those who are just as superior. 
  • … like to be admired all the time
  • … cut off relationships with friends or family who are critical of you.
  • … feel that you are entitled to certain things.
  • … feel that everything revolves around you.
  • … lack empathy.
  • … are unable to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
  • … are often envious of others.
  • … believe others are envious of you.
  • … sometimes take advantage of others to achieve your own ends.
  • … are often manipulative to those around you.
  • … sometimes catch yourself being arrogant in your behavior or attitude.
  • … are selfish, according to what others say.

Psychotherapy with a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or clinical social worker can provide support in a non-judgmental atmosphere. A reparative relationship with a therapist can help you achieve positive changes. Greater empathy can increase for others as well as an expanded healthier way of viewing yourself and the world. Repetitive dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviors will be identified so that new ways of viewing situations, yourself and others will emerge. More adaptive behaviors will increase which will lead to greater interpersonal, social and professional satisfaction. Occasionally, medication can be useful for the person with a narcissistic personality disorder.

If this sounds like you or someone you know and you would like more information about the treatment of personality disorders, please see “What Causes Personality Disorders?” or “Are There Effective Treatments for Personality Disorders?”

What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Do you constantly lie?  Do you hurt people and not feel bad about it?  If this is the case, you could have antisocial personality disorder. These symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. 

Check any of the following characteristics that apply to you:

  • You constantly lie and steal.
  • You don’t feel guilt.
  • You are always agitated.
  • You don’t feel remorse for hurting others.
  • You don’t care about the safety of others.
  • You manipulate others.
  • You don’t adhere to rules and regulations of society.
  • You get in trouble with the law.
  • You are sometimes reckless.
  • You feel a sense of entitlement.
  • You are impulsive.
  • You violate the rights of others.
  • You are sometimes aggressive.
  • You have trouble keeping a job.

 Psychotherapy with a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or clinical social worker can provide support in a non-judgmental atmosphere. A reparative relationship with a therapist can help you achieve positive changes. Greater empathy can increase for others as well as an expanded healthier way of viewing yourself and the world. Repetitive dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviors will be identified so that new ways of viewing situations, yourself and others will emerge. More adaptive behaviors will increase which will lead to greater interpersonal, social and professional satisfaction. Occasionally, medication can be useful for the person with an antisocial personality disorder.

If this sounds like you or someone you know and you would like more information about the treatment of personality disorders, please see “What Causes Personality Disorders?” or “Are There Effective Treatments for Personality Disorders?”

What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Do you always need to be the center of attention?  Do you seek approval from others? Are you easily influenced by others?  Are you overly dramatic? You may be suffering from histrionic personality disorder if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions. These symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe.   

  • Are you overly dramatic?
  • Do you exaggerate your emotional reactions?
  • Are you always looking for approval from others?
  • Are you sometimes inappropriately seductive?
  • Are you too concerned with your appearance?
  • Do you need immediate gratification?
  • Do you always need to be the center of attention?
  • Do your emotions shift quickly?
  • Do you sometimes believe your relationships with others are deeper than they truly are? 

Psychotherapy with a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or clinical social worker can provide support in a non-judgmental atmosphere. A reparative relationship with a therapist can help you achieve positive changes. Greater empathy can increase for others as well as an expanded healthier way of viewing yourself and the world. Repetitive dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviors will be identified so that new ways of viewing situations, yourself and others will emerge. More adaptive behaviors will increase which will lead to greater interpersonal, social and professional satisfaction. Occasionally, medication can be useful for the person with a histrionic personality disorder.

If this sounds like you or someone you know and you would like more information about the treatment of personality disorders, please see “What Causes Personality Disorders?” or “Are There Effective Treatments for Personality Disorders?”

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD vs. OCD)?

Are you always striving for perfection?  Do you try to control many things in your life?  If this is the case, you might have obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) if you answer “yes” to any one of the following questions. These symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe.

  • Does your perfectionism interfere with your ability to complete a task?
  • Is it difficult for you to get rid of worthless or worn-out objects that might have no sentimental value?
  • Are you preoccupied with orderliness?
  • Are you constantly concerned with organization, order, lists, details, rules, or schedules to the point that the entire purpose for the activity becomes secondary?
  • Are you so devoted to your productivity and work that it supersedes your desire for leisure and relationships?
  • Are you almost too conscientious, meticulous, and concerned with matters of values, ethics, or morality?
  • Do you always have to have mental and interpersonal control, even if it means that you lose time, openness, and flexibility?
  • Are you very frugal, stubborn, or rigid?

Psychotherapy with a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or clinical social worker can provide support in a non-judgmental atmosphere. A reparative relationship with a therapist can help you achieve positive changes. Greater empathy can increase for others as well as an expanded healthier way of viewing yourself and the world. Repetitive dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviors will be identified so that new ways of viewing situations, yourself, and others will emerge. More adaptive behaviors will increase which will lead to greater interpersonal, social and professional satisfaction. Occasionally, medication can be useful for the person with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

If this sounds like you or someone you know and you’d like more information about the treatment of personality disorders, please see “What Causes Personality Disorders?” or “Are There Effective Treatments for Personality Disorders?”

What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

Do you feel like your relationships with other people can be somewhat volatile or unstable?  You might find that this has been a pattern for years, and could probably be related to your self-image and/or early social interactions.  You may also frantically try to avoid real or imagined abandonment, and you might make impulsive decisions.  If so, you may have borderline personality disorder. 

Check any of the following symptoms that apply.  If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have borderline personality disorder (BPD). These symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. 

You…

  • …frantically avoid abandonment
  • …have volatile relationships that interchange admiration and depreciation
  • …chronically feel empty
  • …have difficulty controlling your anger
  • …have suicidal behavior
  • …have an unstable self-image
  • …have unstable moods

Psychotherapy with a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or clinical social worker can provide support in a non-judgmental atmosphere. A reparative relationship with a therapist can help you achieve positive changes. Greater empathy can increase for others as well as an expanded healthier way of viewing yourself and the world. Repetitive dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviors will be identified so that new ways of viewing situations, yourself, and others will emerge. More adaptive behaviors will increase which will lead to greater interpersonal, social and professional satisfaction. Occasionally, medication can be useful for the person with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

If this sounds like you or someone you know and you’d like more information about the treatment of personality disorders, please see “What Causes Personality Disorders?” or “Are There Effective Treatments for Personality Disorders?”

What causes personality disorders?

A personality disorder can be caused by a combination of factors including your upbringing, social development, constitutional predisposition, along with genetics and biological makeup.  The symptoms of these disorders can be exacerbated when the individual faces an increased amount of stress. While personality disorders may go undiagnosed for some time, they can often be diagnosed in adolescence or early adulthood. 

Are there effective treatments for my personality disorder?

Personality disorders can be helped most effectively through psychotherapy.  Psychotherapy addresses the various issues so that insight can be gained and you can be assisted in learning to cope and improve the ways in which you interact with others.  The major goal of psychotherapy is to help you identify and address the ways that your personality is disordered and what causes you to have interpersonal difficulties. Through psychotherapy you will learn how to change and improve your relationships and functioning.  As you view things differently, you will become motivated to discard and replace your dysfunctional, unacceptable behaviors.  Medication has also been proven to be helpful with the biological dimensions of personality, including anxiety, aggression, depression, and impulsivity.  Your psychotherapy could be individual, group, or family depending on whichever fits your needs.

It is important for someone with a personality disorder to seek psychotherapy and/or medication as soon as possible from a licensed psychologist, clinical social worker, psychotherapist, counselor, psychiatric nurse practitioner or psychiatrist.  In a confidential, supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere, psychotherapy or counseling with a licensed psychologist or psychotherapist can help the individual gain awareness and insight into their situation. A reparative relationship can develop with the therapist and will help you achieve positive changes.  Repetitive dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviors will be identified so that new ways of viewing situations, yourself and others will emerge. More adaptive behaviors will increase and will lead to greater interpersonal, social and professional satisfaction. Greater empathy can increase for others, as well as an expanded healthier way of viewing yourself and the world. Medication is often useful for the person with a personality disorder.  Medication can be prescribed by a psychiatric nurse practitioner or a psychiatrist. The sooner treatment is begun, the sooner the symptoms associated with the personality disorders can go into remission.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a personality disorder, and you would like more information about treatment, want to discuss your specific needs, or make an appointment, call our office today to speak to someone. We have licensed psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, counselors, clinical social workers, and psychiatric nurse practitioners, qualified and experienced in effectively treating personality disorders, and we can help suggest the therapist that best meets your needs.  Our telephone number is 212-996-3939.