Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 141–148 | Cite as

Contemporary Directions in Theories and Psychotherapeutic Strategies in Treatment of Personality Disorders: Relation to Level of Personality Functioning

  • Sebastian Simonsen
  • Erik Simonsen
Original Paper


In this commentary on treatment strategies for personality disorders, we analyze each of the cases and the problem of low motivation in terms of how they fit with the Level of Personality Functioning scale. We then show how patients vary in terms of both level and breadth of pathology. Three of the articles describe patients who are severely impaired and strategies suggested are understood in terms of working with differentiation. The additional three articles present cases where patients have a higher level of personality functioning, and strategies are seen as interventions aimed at integration and improved adaptation. Based on this finding, we argue that the Level of Personality Functioning could be a useful assessment method for improving treatment selection. Finally, we raise questions and offer considerations regarding the understanding of empathy, low motivation and autobiographical memory in the cases presented.


Personality disorders Psychotherapy Mentalization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychotherapeutic Centre StolpegaardGentofteDenmark
  2. 2.Psychiatric Research UnitRoskildeDenmark

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