I believe that the healthy folks are the ones who walk through my office door; as it takes impressive curiosity, courage, and motivation to engage in the psychotherapy process.
I have tremendous respect for those of us willing and able to look at ourselves and explore how we're impacted by others as well as how we impact others.
I can't "fix", nor will I pretend to be able to "fix", a problem. I can't magically "make it better" for you. What I can do is be present with you in your time of difficulty, confusion, or anguish and trudge through the muck together with you, side by side--so you won't be alone.
I view "personality disorders" as early life adaptive attempts at emotional survival. In order to survive in a dysfunctional family environment, we learn to do so by adapting a series of behaviors that help us to do just that. These "adaptive behaviors", by way of repetition, burn pathways in the synapses of our brain cells. When the once adaptive behaviors become no longer adaptive (i.e. the person is no longer in the dysfunctional environment that made the behaviors adaptive in the first place), they become dysfunctional--sometimes, abruptly so.
Learning new behaviors that are adaptive to a new, healthier environment is no small task. Our default mode of operation is to rely on our old behaviors that have worked for us before. For new behaviors to be both learned and recognized as adaptive in our new environment, repetition with neutral or positive consequences is crucial. Individual therapy can provide us with an opportunity to burn new pathways in our brain, one interaction at a time. Group therapy maximizes opportunity for such repetition; thus it can optimize the difficult re-learning process. If we knew how to burn new pathways quickly and easily when we advance to a different environment, therapy for personality disorders would be significantly more expedient. But for now, this is why there is no "quick fix" that most people hope for. It can be a painstaking process, requiring high motivation, persistence over time, and ongoing curiosity in understanding which behaviors are adaptive, which ares not, and when to use which.
My favorite book passage of all time is from Mark Doty’s 2007 memoir, Dog Years.
“The black puppy was too big for the little cage in which he was housed, and when the attendant at the shelter first let him out so we could meet him, he promptly fell over, then scrambled up and hurried back in. The long-haired boy, a student at the local alternative college with astonishing eyelashes as black as the dog’s lustrous coat, reached in and lifted him back out. ‘That’s the only security,’ he said, ‘that little guy has ever known’.
This is the point where love, the very beginning of love, shades right out of language’s grasp. Could I ever say what made him immediately enduring? Some constellation of image and gesture, some quality of soul, something charmed and promised.
Maybe we should be glad, finally, that the word can’t go where the heart can, not completely. It’s freeing, to think there’s always an aspect of us outside the grasp of speech, the common stuff of language. Love is common, too, absolutely so—and yet our words for it only point to it; they do not describe it. They are indicators of something immense: the word love is merely a sign that means something like, This way to the mountain.” (p. 48)
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in"
_Leonard Cohen, "Anthem"