We're all trying to do protect ourselves from hurt....and sometimes, that means we push others who want to help, away.

What is “personality” and when is it disorder?

According to the American Psychological Association, whose diagnostic criteria we use in treatment, Personality is defined the person’s  pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving…..and an individual’s personality is influenced by experiences, environment (surroundings, life situations) and genetics. A personality disorder is a way of thinking, feeling and behaving that interfers with someone’s day to day life, and doesn’t follow the expectations of the culture. This causes distress or problems functioning, and lasts over time.

There are 10 specific types of personality disorders (such as borderline personality disorder). All personality disorders share a common trait: a long-term pattern of behavior and inner experience that differs significantly from what is expected. The pattern of experience and behavior begins by late adolescence or early adulthood (often as a result of trauma, abuse, or neglect) and causes distress or problems in functioning with others. Without treatment, the behavior and experience is inflexible and usually long-lasting. 

What if I don’t have a disorder, but just a strong personality?

Not every personality trait is “clinical”, or should be made clinical. Sometimes, our personality traits simply clash with different or opposing personality traits in others. Using the most current, up to date personality testing such as the Big Five, MMPI, Strengths Based Testing, projective testing and other personality inventories, we can help you figure out who you are, as a person! And, how to use or adjust those traits to improve your relationships, across all areas of life. 

If you want to learn more about your personality, or think you may be affected by personality struggles or a disorder, and want to learn how to have different relationships with people, we can help.


Number of Americans Who Have a Personality Disorder

Million Americans Are Affected

Known Types of Personality Disorders

Do You Treat Personality Disorders?

Yes. Our professionals and psychologists are trained in treating personality disorders. Dr. Norman and her staff have extensive training in the treatment of personality disorders. Dr. Norman developed, wrote and lead, an intensive group treatment program, “SMART Health” which was specifically to help people affected by Borderline Personality and Binge Eating Disorders, for the Dupage County Health Department. Our team has experiencing with personality dual diagnosis, and those affected with more that one type of personality disorder. In fact, some research indicates that 60% of people coming to therapy are affected by personality struggles, and believe there’s ties to childhood trauma that cause these struggles. 

Someone I know May Have a Personality Disorder. Can you help me?

Absolutely. In fact, family involvement helps. By helping people overcome the trauma, abuse or neglect they likely experienced as children, and developing new patterns of behavior, we can help our loved ones begin to believe and trust, that they really are loved by others.

Do You Also Treat Children With Personality Disorders?

Children are not diagnosed with personality disorders because they are still growing and changing. Some children may be affected with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) or Conduct Disorder (CD) both of which have overlapping simularities iwth adult personality disorder diagnosis. Because children are still changing and growing, counseling for ODD/CD in childhood may prevent the future development of personality disorders

Personality Disorder Facts


The Onset of Personality

Personality traits are theorized to develop around age 6 or 7. By that age, how we see the world, our expectations and how we navigate life, are solidified; left unchallenged, we’re pretty set in those values and view points, at a very young age. Over time, these strongly held beliefs – good and bad – become who we see ourselves and what we expect of the world (how others will likely treat us). When children are exposed to neglect, abuse or trauma, they may develop distorted ways of seeing themselves and the world around them, because of those events. At times, that presents it’s self in the form a personality disorder. 


Treatment Takes Time

Sadly, outdated websites and literature suggests that people affected by a personality disorder can’t change. But, that’s simply not true.  Research tells us that through regular therapy and safe emotional attachment to another trusted human, can fundamentally change a person’s view of themselves and others. 


Childhood Trauma Often Causes Personality Disorders

Often times many people are diagnosed with a personality treatment after experiencing years of neglect, and or a traumatic childhood. At TGC, we recognize that trauma and hurt is at the heart of someone affected by personality struggles. 

Please Contact us if You Need Help.

If you have been diagnosed with a personality disorder, or you think you have a personality disorder, please contact Transformative Growth today so that we can help you as soon as possible.
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