Personality Disorders

Mental illness does not have to be the end of a relationship.


People with personality disorders, such as Narcissism or Borderline among others, often do not realize that they have a disorder at all because their way of thinking and behaving seems natural to them. They may blame others for challenges and cannot see that they are the common denominator in their problems. Unable to understand that they are causing the dysfunction, they are not very motivated to work on it.

Instead, it is often the loved ones who reach out for help. Personality disorders cause a severe disruption in how relational information is processed, so it is the people around them who suffer. When only one person is doing the work, the relationship cannot mend.

The partner of someone with a personality disorder may recognize a profound lack of resolution in the relationship. Couples may have repeat arguments, one partner thinks that they are reaching an understanding, and then later realize that no change has actually occurred. That partner may also be frequently blamed for the issues that the personality disordered person is causing (a dynamic we call “Right Room, Wrong Person”). For example, the personality disordered person may be yelling and asking why their partner is being so rude, when, in fact, they are the one being rude. Some level of this dynamic may happen in every relationship, but the frequency and duration sets apart those with a personality disorder.


A personality disorder is defined as a enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time and leads to distress or impairment. These disorders are complex and varied, and causes are still largely unknown. Genetics, abuse, developmental immaturity, and other factors may contribute to a personality disorder.

Personality disorders start off through no fault of our own but end up being something we are responsible for managing and healing, if we want relationships and connection with others.


Treatment for personality disorders is intense and no-nonsense. It includes mapping out where you are today, understanding how you got there, and rigorous accountability around where you want to go.

In order to be healthy yourself and have healthy relationships, you will learn self awareness and how to be responsive to the needs of relationships. This means a rigorous understanding of boundaries for yourself and for others. It means learning empathy as a skill. It means learning self regulation. We empower you to have healthy connection with yourself and with others.

Contact Us at Sojourn Counseling

We are here to give you the support and sense of direction that you need to get on the path towards your goals and your wellness. Schedule an appointment today.