The Personality Disorder Toolbox: The Challenges of the Hidden Agenda



Learning Objectives

  • List and summarize the essential characteristics of each of the personality disorders in DSM-5®.
  • Identify the hidden agendas of each of the personality disorders.
  • Assess the treatability and prognosis of each disorder.
  • Evaluate the efficacy of various treatment methods including CBT and DBT.
  • Describe ways to manage suicidality, violence and self-mutilating behavior so no one gets hurt.
  • Outline case conceptualization skills useful for individualizing treatment planning and driving effective treatment.
  • Discover how to actually like your Axis II patients! (or at least develop more frustration tolerance).


The clients whose problems meet DSM-5® criteria for a personality disorder can be the most difficult clients on your caseload to treat. It is no wonder most social service providers and mental health professionals feel helpless in the face of the obstructive power of a personality disorder in a client or client’s family member. In this seminar you will learn strategies to assess and manage the most treatment resistant conditions, reduce treatment failures and overcome the biggest obstacles to successful treatment outcomes.


Drawing from the most recent outcome literature, clinical trials, case studies and clinical experience, Dr Jeff Riggenbach presents an integrated approach for dealing with these difficult clients. Leave with specific and practical strategies that you can use in your clinical setting immediately.


This online workshop with Dr Jeff Riggenbach will give you instant access to 11+ hours of video content, accessible via streaming on our website, as well as downloads for PowerPoint slides, references and additional course materials. A certificate of completion will be generated upon finishing the course and completing an evaluation quiz.



Learn the DSM-5® Personality Disorder System

  • What is personality?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Genes vs. family
  • Methods of personality conceptualization
  • Disorder vs. traits
  • Spectrum vs. categories
  • A bump in the road or the end of the line


It’s All About Me! The Challenges of the Hidden Agenda

  • The core of the personality disorder: the unchanging agenda
  • Overview DSM-5® Criteria and their agendas
    • Borderline
    • Antisocial (and Psychopaths!)
    • Narcissistic
    • Histrionic
    • Avoidant
    • Dependent
    • Obsessive-compulsive
    • Paranoid


Actually, It’s All About You

  • Transference and countertransference
  • The thinking of the therapist
  • The role of clinician’s responses in treatment outcome
  • Importance of clinician self- care


What Works and What Doesn’t with Personality Disorders

  • DBT, CBT and the rest—what works for whom and what does the evidence say?
  • Polypharmacy and the borderline client
  • Generic but incredibly useful therapy interventions for each disorder


Nobody Gets Hurt: Violence, Suicide and Manipulation

  • The frustration of recurrent suicidal behavior
  • Self-injurious behavior
  • Suicide risk assessment
  • Keep yourself safe