Residential Treatment for Personality Disorders

Residential Treatment for Personality Disorders

Personality disorders, which cause abnormal and problematic behavior and thought patterns, are notoriously difficult to treat. The challenge lies in helping the individual recognize and accept that they have a condition and that treatment will help improve their lives. Once in treatment, however, therapies and other strategies can be very effective in producing lifelong, positive changes. Women have unique experiences with personality disorders and benefit from gender-specific treatment.

Everyone has a unique personality—thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and reactions that sets us apart from others. Our personalities are influenced by many factors, like genetics, environment, and experiences. When someone’s personality is well outside what is expected, they may be diagnosed as having a personality disorder.

If you have a personality disorder, the ways you think and behave, perceive the world, relate to others, and view yourself are unusual and problematic. Most people begin experiencing the signs of a personality disorder as teenagers or young adults. If you struggle with one of these disorders, you may have a hard time realizing that your patterns or personality are abnormal or causing you distress. You may blame your challenges on others or the world around you.

Personality Disorders Treatment at Helix

Because people with personality disorders have a hard time recognizing their problematic behaviors and thoughts, treating them can be challenging. There is hope, though. Treatment can be effective for any personality disorder, and Helix has experts experienced in working with these difficult conditions.

There are no specific medications used to treat personality disorders, but our compassionate therapists at Helix guide residents through several types of treatment modalities that may include:

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic experiencing is an integrative therapy that recognizes how trauma and other issues are expressed both physically and psychologically. It has been proven in studies to be effective for treating PTSD but can also benefit women struggling with a range of painful memories and mental illnesses. By focusing on physical sensations, you will learn how to manage and process trauma.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT will help you become more aware of the negative and inaccurate thoughts and emotions that prevent you from healing. A trained therapist will show you strategies for changing problematic thinking so that you can react more positively to difficult situations, painful memories, and other issues.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is used to manage and process traumatic experiences. It is a way of helping the brain heal and reframe trauma. In EMDR, you will be guided to remember your trauma in a safe setting and with a compassionate therapist. Using eye movements, you will begin to remove the mental blocks that have prevented you from healing from those experiences.


Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment: breathing, physical sensations, thoughts and emotions, and the world around you. It can take the form of therapy but also meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and other practices you can use later to calm and center yourself.

Relational Psychotherapy

Healthy, balanced relationships are essential for good mental health. Many women come to treatment with relationship difficulties underlying trauma and mental illness. Relational psychotherapy can be one-on-one or with a loved one. It will help you learn and change your negative patterns in relating to other people, how to communicate effectively, and how to enjoy healthier, mutually beneficial relationships.

In addition to these primary treatment modalities, Helix also offers an extensive list of supplementary treatments. These can be used as needed to provide each resident with a unique, individualized experience for healing and wellness:

  • Family therapy
  • Grief counseling
  • DBT skills
  • Relapse prevention
  • Trauma-sensitive yoga
  • Nutritional evaluation
  • Equine-assisted therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Safe and sound protocol
  • Community peer support groups

Therapy at Helix will help you process and talk about your troubling moods, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It will guide you through coping strategies and real ways to change the problematic patterns that create so much distress in your life.

Treatment at Helix is focused on therapy, but this is also supplemented by creative therapies, recreation, holistic medical care, nutrition, recreation, exercise, and mindfulness training.

Personality Disorders We Treat

At Helix, our experts are equipped to treat all types of personality disorders along with any co-occurring conditions or underlying trauma:

  • Antisocial personality disorder. If you have this personality disorder you may be manipulative or cheat, lie to people, and disregard the feelings and needs of others. You are impulsive and struggle to feel any remorse for hurting people.
  • Avoidant personality disorder. This condition causes you to be socially inhibited and isolated. You are sensitive to being rejected, feel inadequate, are very shy, and avoid situations that require interpersonal interactions.
  • Borderline personality disorder. More common in women than in men, borderline personality disorder causes unstable moods and relationships, intense anger and outbursts, fear of abandonment, risky behaviors, and feelings of emptiness.
  • Dependent personality disorder. With this condition you feel strongly dependent on others for care and emotional needs; you are submissive and clingy in relationships; you lack self-confidence and fear disapproval. You are more vulnerable to abusive partners.
  • Histrionic personality disorder. If you are histrionic, you need a lot of attention, are dramatic and opinionated, may be sexually provocative to get attention, are concerned with physical appearance to an excessive degree, and are easily influenced.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissists believe they are better than other people and that they deserve success and admiration, whether or not they have earned it. They are arrogant and take advantage of others.
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. With this personality disorder, you may be obsessed with perfection and distressed when you cannot achieve it. You feel a strong desire to be in control, are stubborn and inflexible, and are preoccupied with rules or details.
  • Paranoid personality disorder. This condition causes you to be suspicious of other people, to believe others are harming or lying to you, to avoid confiding in or trusting people, and to see threats where there are none.
  • Relational disorder. Relational disorder emerges from the dynamics of unproductive relationships. Those who experience its symptoms often rely on couples, family, or marital therapy to address the problem, but women who’ve been diagnosed with this disorder can also benefit from intensive individualized therapy in a calm, peaceful environment.
  • Schizoid personality disorder. With schizoid personality disorder, you prefer to be alone and struggle to express emotions. You struggle to identify emotional cues and avoid intimate relationships.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder. If you are schizotypal you may have unusual perceptions, flat or inappropriate emotions, an odd style of dressing or talking, social anxiety, and magical thinking, believing you can control others just with your thoughts.

Your Helix Treatment Centers Experience

A stay at Helix is focused on treatment and wellness. The experience is one of serenity, healing, and safety. It does not feel like a hospital, but more like a residence with a few other women going through their own mental health challenges.

When you first arrive at Helix, you will be able to settle in and explore the facility and grounds at your own pace. Within a day or two, our staff will work with you to diagnose any conditions and conduct a thorough evaluation to understand your needs and preferences. Your team of experts will use this information to develop an individualized treatment plan for your stay.

Each day at Helix follows a similar schedule. The day begins with quiet reflection and a tasty breakfast. Mornings are largely spent in individual therapy, followed by lunch. In the afternoon, you may participate in group or family therapy, try alternative therapies, or work on mindfulness to help with emotional regulation. There is also plenty of time for recreation and time spent in the healing outdoors.

Why Choose Helix Treatment Centers for Personality Disorders Treatment?

Because personality disorders are so difficult to treat and manage, a residential stay is ideal. This gives you the time and focus you need to make real progress. Helix is different from other residential facilities in that it is gender-specific and small. You’ll share the residence with just a few other women and benefit from supporting each other.

Our expert staff at Helix includes professionals in all areas of mental health and wellness. Care is focused on exploring and healing from any past traumas, which may underlie your personality disorder. You will also learn how to take care of yourself, manage healthy relationships, and cope when emotions feel overwhelming.

Begin Your Recovery Journey.


How to Help a Loved One Get Treatment for Personality Disorders

Treatment for personality disorders can be highly effective. However, getting someone to admit they need care is challenging. Once you get through this first step with a loved one, there is hope. Outline treatment options and help them understand how it could be beneficial. Point out specific areas of their life that cause distress and dysfunction and help them realize that treatment could change those things.

Convincing someone to get help for a personality disorder isn’t easy, but there are a couple strategies you can try. One is to enlist other people who care. The more people they trust who suggest they may benefit from treatment, the better. You may also try pointing out other mental health issues that treatment could help, such as depression, anxiety, or even relationship difficulties. Many people with personality disorders end up seeking treatment for these secondary issues before recognizing the main condition causing so many problems in their lives.

Dropping out of therapy is typical for people with personality disorders. This is one reason it is important to push for residential care. This long-term treatment is also useful for providing a safe environment free of distractions and other responsibilities, so your loved one can focus on wellness and therapy.

Lasting Change for a Better Life

Treatment for a personality disorder is all about making progress. This is not a condition that can be cured with one course of treatment. It is complicated and likely to recur throughout your life. What treatment can do for you is help you make positive changes that make your life better.

For instance, controlling or expressing your emotions is a real challenge with a personality disorder. It can lead to isolation and broken relationships. At treatment, you’ll learn effective, actionable strategies for better managing emotions and mood changes. You will practice social and relationship skills. With these you can expect to have better, more fulfilling relationships and a more stable mood over time.

Treatment for personality disorders is available and it can be helpful for most people. The challenge is to get there, to take the first step toward wellness. Starting treatment can be scary, but the benefits are immediate and lasting.

Don’t let the effects of personality disorders control your life. We’re here for you…call us today.