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Dependent and Avoidant Personality Disorders

This program begins by presenting empirically-derived life span models of dependent personality disorder (DPD) and avoidant personality disorder (APD). Developmental antecedents of DPD and APD are described, and the impact of gender, culture, and age on the expression of dependent and avoidant traits are discussed. Following an overview of the DSM-IV-TR DPD and APD criteria, well-validated interview, questionnaire, and projective instruments for assessing dependent and avoidant traits are reviewed. Treatment issues in therapeutic work with DPD and APD patients are discussed in detail, emphasizing four domains (cognitive, affective, motivational, behavioral) where therapeutic interventions may be targeted. A broad range of therapeutic strategies are outlined, with each strategy linked to the psychological domains where it has been shown to be most effective.

Workshop Content

Developmental antecedents of dependent and avoidant personality disorders
Evolution of dependent and avoidant traits across the life span
Differences beween normal and pathological manifestations of dependent and avoidant behaviors
Strengths and limitations of the DSM-IV-TR avoidant and dependent personality disorder symptom criteria
Diagnosis of dependent and avoidant personality disorders in various patient groups
Interview, questionnaire, and projective measures of dependent and avoidant personality traits
Treatment strategies for inpatient and outpatient work with dependent and avoidant patients

Workshop Objectives
Identify the developmental antecedents of dependent and avoidant personality disorders
Describe how APD is different from severe shyness
List the DSM criteria for each of these personality disorders
Identify the interview process which best gets at dependent and avoidant personality disorders

Presented by

Robert Bornstein, Ph.D.
Robert Bornstein, Ph.D.Robert F. Bornstein received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1986 and is Professor of Psychology at Adelphi University. Dr. Bornstein has published numerous articles and book chapters on personality dynamics, assessment, and treatment. He wrote The Dependent Personality and The Dependent Patient: A Practitioner’s Guide, co-authored (with Mary Languirand) When Someone You Love Needs Nursing Home Care and Healthy Dependency, and co-edited (with Joseph Masling) seven volumes of the Empirical Studies of Psychoanalytic Theories series, as well as Scoring the Rorschach: Seven Validated Systems. Dr. Bornstein is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, and Society for Personality Assessment; his research has been funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Bornstein received the Society for Personality Assessment’s 1995, 1999, 2002, and 2008 awards for Distinguished Contributions to the Personality Assessment Literature, and received the Division 12/American Psychological Foundation 2005 Theodore Millon Award for Excellence in Personality Research.