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Heller, M.B. (2001). An Audit of Personality Disorder in a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Service. Psychoanal. Psychother., 15(2):169-185.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 15(2):169-185

An Audit of Personality Disorder in a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Service

Mary Brownescombe Heller

An audit was undertaken of all referrals made to, and all patients seen within, a small psychotherapy service during the twelve months of 1999. The audit was part of an initiative to explore the prevalence of personality disorder in the Teesside area. It came out of a working party, set up by the local Health Authority, to respond to the Government's document on the management of ‘dangerous severely personality disordered’ people. This was a consultation paper prepared by a joint Home Office and Department of Health Working Group (July 1999). The audit found that of the 164 patients, approximately two-thirds were categorised as having a personality disorder, with just over 70% of these coming within ‘Cluster B’. The clustering system and classifications were taken from ICD-10 and DSM-IV, as outlined in the Royal College of Psychiatrists Council Report (February 1999). Details were given of what happened to each referral through the year, including outcomes for the thirty-one patients who ended their psychotherapy during 1999. Although those patients classified as suffering from a personality disorder indicated more difficulties in engagement with the therapeutic process at each stage, outcomes suggested that they were as able to benefit from psychotherapy as those patients who were classified as not suffering from a personality disorder.

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