Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies for Personality Disorders

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

It is strongly recommended that students have previously been approved the following units: Behaviour Modification, Behavioural Models and Cognitive Models, Psychopathology I, Psychopathology II.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, discussion of clinical cases, role-play of psychotherapy sessions. Simulation exercises based on famous characters (movies characters, novel characters and biographical material, celebrities) who display typical traits of personality disorders.

Learning Outcomes

General Goals: (1) To understand the nature, features and diagnostic criteria for personality disorders, and (2) to know the relevant cognitive-behavioral models for assessment and intervention with personality disordered patients.

Specific Goals

1. Knowledge about the diagnostic systems and criteria for personality disorders (DSM5 and ICD 10);

2. Capability to assess personality disorders by using clinical interviews and structured assessment instruments;

3. Knowledge about the main cognitive models relevant for case conceptualization and intervention with PD patients.



To know how to use personality disorders classification systems and manuals; to be able to recognize and to diagnose personality disorders including differential diagnosis; to be able to use major cognitive-behavioral strategies with PD patients; to be able to adapt intervention programs to personality disordered people; to develop relational skills for interventions with PD patients.

Work Placement(s)



1.   Personality Disorders – Introduction, history and relevant issues

2.   Personality Disorders in DSM 5 and ICD 10

3.   Personality Disorders epidemiology and comorbidity issues

4.   Diagnostic and assessment instruments and procedures

5.   Cognitive psychopathology of Personality Disorders and therapeutic intervention: Beck and Freeman’s cognitive model, Dialetical-behavioural Therapy, Young’s Schema Focused Therapy, and J. Safran’s cognitive-interpersonal approach

6.   Critical issues of Personality Disorders psychotherapy: scope, efficacy and limits of the intervention

Head Lecturer(s)

Daniel Maria Bugalho Rijo

Assessment Methods

Case study to be done in small groups (6 points; 30%): 30.0%
Two written tests on theorethical contents (7 points each = 14; 70%): 70.0%


Beck, A. T., Davis, D. D., and Freeman, A. (Eds) (2015). Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders (3rd Ed.). NY: Guilford.

 Giesen‑Bloo, J., van Dyck, R., Spinhoven, P., van Tilburg, W., Dirksen, C., van Asselt, T.,

Kremers, I., Nadort, M. & Arntz, A. (2006). Outpatient Psychotherapy for Borderline

Personality Disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatric, 63, 649‑658.

 Safran, J.D. & Segal, Z.V. (1990). Interpersonal Process in Cognitive Therapy. Basic Books.


Rafaeli, E., Bernstein, D. P., & Young, J. (2011). Schema therapy. New York: Routledge.

Swales, M. A., and Heard, H. L. (2016) Dialetical behavior therapy (2nd Ed). NY: Routledge.

Rijo, D. (2017). O questionário de esquemas de Young (YSQ-S3). In Gonçaves, M. Simões, M. R., & Almeida, L. (Eds). Psicologia clínica e da saúde: instrumentos de avaliação. Lisboa: PACTOR. (159-173)

R. Wainer, R. Erdos, K. Paim, and R. Andriola (Org.) (2016). Integração em psicoterapia: Terapia cognitiva focada em esquemas. Artmed/Brasil.