Antisocial Personality Disorder


No psychotherapy has been found to be efficacious with these clients. Prevention, Behavioral Approaches, Milieu therapy

Treatment Summary: It is generally considered that Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) is difficult to treat as evidenced by high recidivism rate even after a course of psychotherapy, among offenders with this diagnosis. It is noted that both Canadian and Americans are concerned that psychological therapy worsens outcomes leading to increased recidivism. In conflict to this viewpoint, a psychodynamic approach has been utilized that offers an inhibitory process that begins by teaching the client a self-view that is consistent with socially acceptable behaviors. This treatment focuses on developing empathy by focusing on the client's need for empathy and validation. Confounding factors include the client's resistance to authority including the therapist, lack of motivation to participate in treatment, and a lack of accountability and empathy. Perhaps appropriate consequences for offending behavior and confrontation in a structured group setting that consistently reveals the effects of this behavior on victims while focusing on a shift of attention from self to other. Reinforcement of empathic attitudes and framing offending behavior as self-destructive uses the ego centered client attitude to provide motivation to modify behavior. In other words, offending behavior leads to consequences that are self-destructive.

  • Reference: Lock, Martin P. (2008) Treatment of antisocial personality disorder. The British Journal of Psychiatry 193: 426 Malancharuvil, Joseph M. (2012). Empathy deficit in antisocial personality disorder: a psychodynamic formulation. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 72, 242 - 250.
  • Submitter: Marinda Ross

Introjective Identification Therapy (IIT)

Treatment Summary: IIT is a treatment shown to be effective in the treatment of Antisocial Personality Disorder when used in conjunction with another for of treatment, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In IIT, patients with Antisocial Personality Disorder identify their undesirable traits and learn to use more socially desirable behaviors and attitudes through positive identification with a role model or image. IIT involves studying and incorporating the pro-social characteristics of the "idealized person" into daily use. Through the observation and practice of more socially appropriate behaviors and attitudes, IIT hope to help the patient uncover his or her innate pro-social characteristics.

  • Reference: Martens, W.,(2008). Introjective identification therapy for patients with antisocial personality disorders: A theoretical outline. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 11(4), 10-16.
  • Submitter: Devin Bove
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