Online training certification in philotherapy: Generic features of personality disorders and the philosophical counseling approach
This a training certification programe for philosophers, psychologists and social scientists with an interest and/or experience in the mental health field.
Personality disorders are defined as persistent patterns of destructive behavior of various sorts that diminish the quality of life both of the person who ‘has’ the personality disorder and of those close to them who suffer their behavior. Particularly relevant in modern diagnostics and psychotherapy are the so-called ‘Cluster B personality disorders’, namely the four disorders grouped under Cluster B in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: the antisocial, histrionic, borderline and narcissistic personality disorder. While the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder is extremely controversial, and is the single most frequent diagnosis today of all psychiatric diagnoses, recent attention has been turned primarily to the narcissistic personality disorder, which, as it appears, is now of epidemic proportions. Some therapists claim that around 50% of the entire population in urban areas suffers from different degrees of narcissistic personality organization, a considerable proportion of which cases is classifiable as the narcissistic personality disorder. Borderline, on the other hand, is controversial because it is the product of a largely political decision by the American Psychiatric Association to ‘abolish’ or reduce the range of diagnoses of schizophrenia, so cases that used to be diagnosed as latent or mild schizophrenia have been shifted into the drawer of ‘borderline personality disorder’.
While the diagnostic dilemmas about personality disorders abound, treatment remains exceptionally inefficient. This fact is sometimes explained by reference to ‘deep personality structure’ which, unlike neuroses, and even psychoses, cannot be adequately changed through whatever therapy is administered.
The philosophical counseling approach to personality disorder rests on structure and the imposition of order on the thought process of those who are ‘suspected’ of personality disorders. This is achieved through critical interventions in talk therapy which influence the way the clients see themselves and their interactions with others, focusing on the social (structural) manifestations and fueling of disorderly behavior.
The course leads to an Institute for Practical Humanities certificate for philosophical work with personality disorders. It is a six months course which covers fundamental issues of personality disorders views through the perspective of integrative psychotherapy or philosophical counseling. The format of the course includes reading assignments, individual sessions with a supervisor once per week, and group sessions with members of the IPH on a monthly basis.
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