Personality Disorders Treatment and Counseling, Clinical Psychology Services in New York

NYC Psychologist, Westchester Psychotherapist

Personality Disorders Treatment by licensed NY clinical psychologist, counselor and psychotherapist, Robert M. Fraum, Ph.D., He offers easy-to-access-and-find treatment for personality disorders in New York City, White Plains, NY and Greenwich CT. He provides psychotherapy and counseling for Dependent, Obsessive-Compulsive (OCPD), Avoidant, Histrionic, Narcissistic (NPD), Borderline and Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorders, among others. Dr. Fraum believes that people with personality disorders respond well to a practical, flexible, highly engaged, multimodal therapy approach, which stresses solutions, to achieve tangible, realistic life goals.


I have been working as a licensed clinical psychologist, providing psychotherapy and counseling for people suffering from personality disorders in the New York area for over 20 years. As a solutions focused psychotherapist and counselor, I find that my particular treatment approach to personality disorders can be useful and stimulating. My offices are located in New York City and White Plains, NY. Please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss personality disorders psychology and treatment issues further.

Definition and Symptoms of Personality Disorders

Personality traits such as dependency, orderliness, self-love and aggressiveness are aspects of who we are as people. Personality Disorders are ongoing psychological conditions characterized by rigid, extreme traits and maladaptive symptom patterns which interfere with psychological, interpersonal and professional functioning.

People suffering from personality disorders tend to misread other people, situations and even themselves. They may be especially reactive, volatile or impulsive. They often respond in disproportionate or socially inappropriate ways. Working with a licensed clinical psychologist trained to provide psychotherapy for personality disorders and deeply experienced at counseling personality disorders is highly recommended.

Causes, Psychology and Types of Personality Disorders

The key factor in the developmental psychology of a personality disorder is the role played by childhood trauma and other conditions in producing ongoing anxiety, vulnerability to stress, and the disruption of secure interpersonal connections. Examples of acute trauma include beatings, rape, parental suicide, and social ostracism. Examples of more subtle trauma include childhood psychological environments which are chronically unloving, empty, false, chaotic, fearful, or otherwise threatening or deficient.

All personality disorders are rooted in a sense of chronic insecurity and emotional pain that confuses, drains, and demoralizes a young person. Psychological symptoms and interpersonal adjustment problems result. People who are at a loss, overwhelmed or desperate will latch on to any behavior or pattern which seems at the time to promise some relief from emotional pain, or provides a sense of connection or stability. These include maladaptive interpersonal coping styles characterized by aggressive, controlling, dependent, avoidant, passive, detached, explosive, self gratifying or exploitative behaviors. These can become entrenched if they are not outgrown.

Denial is also a key psychological feature (and basic problem) in personality disorders. For example, a person suffering from a personality disorder may flatly deny, to themselves and to others, that they have any problems. More commonly, they may minimize the extent of their symptoms and functional problems, mislabel their issues, justify their behavior, or their blame problems on others. Denial embeds a person in their problems.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

People with avoidant personality disorder are extremely shy, sensitivity to criticism, or fearful of rejection. They suffer from loneliness, but problems overcome their social avoidance keeps them stuck in of social isolation.

Dependent Personality Disorder

Afraid to be alone or to make independent decisions, people with dependent personality disorder suffer from an underdeveloped sense of identity, empowerment and self-esteem. Emotional dependency may trap them in a controlling, dysfunctional, abusive, or dangerous relationship or situation.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder is more debilitating than OCD due to severe indecisiveness, procrastination, doubt, and perfectionism. People with OCPD are especially uncomfortable dealing with emotions, relationships, change, or criticism. They create false issues to explain their extreme anxiety and irrational behavior and employ mental games or rituals to evoke a sense of protection or control. Severe anxiety makes them vulnerable to extreme or addictive behaviors.

Histrionic Personality Disorder

People with Histrionic Personality Disorder typically minimize or deny important personal issues or real-world problems, and so they are intermittently flooded by overwhelming anxiety when denial fails them or reality comes crashing down. They tend they seek a sense of security through gaining social approval or demanding attention. Poor social judgment and personal vanity can lead these impulsive, emotionally volatile people to dress in a sexually provocative style, or to act in an inappropriately seductive, familiar, or candid manner.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Living for the pleasure of elevating their self-esteem and gratifying their personal needs, people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be very good at manipulating others to get the attention, admiration and gratification they crave. In family or intimate relationships, they easily put their own needs first, without experiencing genuine empathy, insight or guilt when they hurt others. Like people with Histrionic Personality Disorder, they can become very embarrassed, deflated, or angry when they are confronted, criticized, or when their denial breaks down.

Borderline Personality Disorder

People with Borderline Personality Disorder are described as experiencing an inner chaos or emptiness which results in severe emotional volatility, instability, and impulsiveness. They may be terrified of being alone, but they often provoke rejection because of their inconsistent, combative interpersonal style. They tend to engage in rollercoaster-like relationships with those who matter most. Depending upon their current state of mind, they may appear depressed, paranoid, psychopathic or merely well functioning individuals. The diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder may be mistakenly applied to people who are victims of trauma or abuse and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as those who are immature, under-socialized, or suffering with an Affective Disorder.

Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder

Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder is no longer an official diagnosis, but it remains a useful term for a person who characteristically engages in passive aggressive behavior. Though they may deny or conceal their hostile intentions, they behave in ways which consistently undermine, confuse, punish, or control another person, often a spouse or family member. Their aggressive actions may be covert and subtle rather than truly passive.

Some of these people are emotionally empty and unloving, and they resent their own emotional or social dependency upon the target person. Others are retaliating over insensitive treatment, personal disappointments or frustrations, but they feel unable to communicate or act in a more direct, useful manner. For others, passive-aggressive behavior is part of a strategy which is used to weaken another person in order to dominate or possess them.

Personality Disorders Treatment Approach

Too often, people who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder receive unsatisfactory treatment, The complex developmental psychology of personality disorders requires an individualized, step-wise approach to personality disorder treatment beginning with the client's most immediate concerns. As tangible progress is made, the goals and focus change. Here is how a solutions oriented psychologist, counselor and psychotherapist like myself works with people to help them to deal with and overcome personality disorders.

The initial goal is to reduce symptoms of a personality disorder and increase functionality:

  • Insight means acknowledging and working on one's immediate problems.
  • Addressing the behaviors, relationships, or situations which trigger symptoms of personality disorder.
  • Learning to use cognitive and behavioral tools to achieve behavioral control.
  • Tangible success creates positive motivation and a sense of empowerment.

Further treatment for a personality disorder helps one to get a better functional grasp on key problems.

  • Insight means using knowledge of one's patterns to function more effectively.
  • Addressing key psychological issues which create or foster emotional instability.
  • Learning new interpersonal, self-management, and problem-solving skills.
  • Improved coping skills increase emotional security and flexibility.

Finally, personality disorders treatment focuses on positive changes in one's identity, capabilities, and life/career choices.

  • Insight means understanding enough about one self to be able to initiate constructive change.
  • Making more satisfying and realistic choices on the basis of this increased knowledge.
  • Enhanced resiliency prevents relapse and enables one to discontinue treatment with confidence.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss psychotherapy and counseling for personality disorders, or my qualifications as a licensed clinical psychologist, counselor and psychotherapist, or to find out if my personality disorders treatment approach can help you.

Find Help and Get Psychotherapy and Counseling for Personality Disorders in New York City (Midtown Manhattan) and White Plains, NY

I offer psychotherapy, counseling and treatment for personality disorders and other mental health issues from three locations: midtown NYC, White Plains, NY, and Greenwich, CT.

My New York City office for personality disorder treatment is located at Park Ave and 38th Street. Grand Central Station is a short walk from the midtown Manhattan location.

The Westchester practice is in White Plains, just off I-287, one block from the North White Plains Metro N. Station.

Greenwich Counselor - CT Therapy
2 Benedict Place
Suite 2E
Greenwich, CT 06830

(914) 980-6961
New York Psychologist Manhattan
71 Park Avenue
Suite 1D
New York, NY 10016

(212) 213-6593
Westchester Therapist
499 North Broadway
Professional Suites
White Plains, NY 10603

(914) 997-7458

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© Robert M. Fraum, Ph.D., 2002 - 2015
Connecticut and New York Licensed Psychologist
Licensed Psychotherapist Connecticut - 003154
Licensed Psychologist New York - 005306