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The University of Southampton

PSYC6092 CBT for Personality Disorders

Module Overview

Approximately two million people in the UK suffer experiences which can be diagnosed as personality disorder, the most common being anti-social and borderline. The diagnosis can often carry with it the assumption that personality disorders are untreatable, but this is untrue, especially with respect to borderline personality disorder.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The purpose of this module is to help you apply your existing CBT knowledge and skills (from treating less complex clients) to the treatment of people with complexity and personality disorder type problems. More specific aims are: 1. To help you develop a useable knowledge of the evidence base in order to select and evaluate the merits of different treatments. 2. To provide you with the knowledge to assess, formulate, and implement evidence-based CBT for personality disorder and/or for patients with multiple, complex problems.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Be able to critically evaluate the empirical status of models and theories of personality disorder and the treatments derived from them
  • Be able to construct comprehensive formulations for people with personality disorder and complex problems, and to derive evidence-based treatment plans from these
  • Be able to implement evidence based CBT interventions with people experiencing personality disorder and complex problems
  • Have practised assessing, formulating and treating personality disorder and complex problems making use of experiential teaching techniques e.g. role plays


The module comprises the following topics: • Phenomenology of personality disorder • Theories and development of personality disorder • Characteristics of CBT for personality disorder • Formulation and treatment planning • Working with core beliefs and schema modes • Working with complex trauma • Imagery work • Working with self harm

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module will be assessed by a combination of formative and summative methods: Formative assessment: • Peer reviewed role play in assessing, formulating and treating problems related to personality disorders • Peer reviewed oral case report to detail assessment, formulation, treatment planning and critical reflection on case material Summative assessment: • An essay of 4,000 words to evidence critical evaluation of the empirical status of models and theories of personality disorder, and the treatments derived from them.

Independent Study150
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Young J., Klosko J. & Weishaar M (2003). Schema Therapy: a practitioners Guide.. 

Davidson, K. (2008). Cognitive therapy for personality disorders. 

Beck, J.S. (2005). Cognitive therapy for challenging problems. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s)  (4000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

If this is taken as a stand alone module (i.e. not part of a programme) then costs will be incurred.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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