Treatment of Personality Disorders in Forensic/Correctional Settings

Authored by: Michelle R. Guyton , Allison Foerschner

Handbook of Forensic Mental Health Services

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138645943
eBook ISBN: 9781315627823
Adobe ISBN:


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From a clinical perspective, treatment for personality disorders is often met with resistance or claims that it cannot be done. While rates of personality disorders, especially those from Cluster B of the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013), tend to be higher in secure care settings, they are often not targeted for treatment. There is early research that turned into clinical dogma that psychopathy and other personality disorders cannot be treated; in fact, such treatment might exacerbate problems and lead to increased recidivism (Martinson, 1974; Rice, Harris, & Cormier, 1992). However, research since this time has challenged this notion and there has been increased attention toward applying various treatment models to individuals with maladaptive personality disorder characteristics. This chapter will review this evolution in clinical thinking and review the extant research about treating personality disorders in secure care settings.

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