Personality Disorders

What is a personality disorder?

If you have a personality disorder, you’re likely to differ from an average person in terms of the way you think, feel or relate to other people.


Personality disorders typically emerge in adolescence and then continue into adulthood.


There are different types of personality disorders which come alongside different sets of symptoms. The different types of personality disorder are grouped into three clusters: A, B and C.

The different clusters of personality disorders

Cluster A personality disorders

  • Difficulty relating to others – often a lack of wish to form relationships
  • Odd and eccentric behaviours

The types of personality disorder that fall under cluster A are paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal.

Cluster B personality disorders

  • Difficulty relating to others but often there is a wish to form close relationships
  • Dramatic, emotional and unpredictable behaviours

The types of personality disorder that fall under cluster B are borderline, antisocial, histrionic and narcissistic.

Cluster C personality disorders

  • Difficulty relating to others, often there is a wish to form close relationships
  • Anxious and fearful thinking and behaviour

The types of personality disorder that fall under cluster C are avoidant, dependent and obsessive-compulsive (the latter being a different diagnosis to obsessive-compulsive disorder).

consultation taking notes

Treatment for personality disorders

Therapy is the main form of treatment for personality disorders. Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and mentalisation-based treatment (MBT) have been shown to be effective for the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Schema therapy (ST) and cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) have a wider applicability and can be effective approaches for the treatment of a range of different types of personality disorder.


Our psychologists are highly experienced in the treatment of personality disorders. Our Consultant Psychiatrist is also a specialist in this area and can offer medication reviews as and when needed.

Frequently asked questions

If you find that your relationships are suffering big ups and downs, you’re having difficulties with anger, self-harm or you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, it’s really important that you seek the appropriate support.

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Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced consultant psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.

Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.

Dr Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.

She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.