References in periodicals archive ?
In studies conducted by Stravysnki, Lesage, Marcouiller, and Elie (1989); Renneberg, Goldstein, Phillips, and Chambless (1990); and Alden and Capreol (1993), groups of individuals diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder met for group therapy involving some or all of the following cognitive-behavioral components: communication skills-training, role rehearsal, making positive self-statements, systematic desensitization, in-vivo exposure, and modeling.
Avoidant personality disorder, and to a lesser degree, dependent and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders have shown improvement in symptoms, general functioning, and secondary symptoms (i.e., depression) as a result of cognitive-behavioral interventions.
Other domains previously identified in the SORC model, such as discriminative stimuli (e.g., the presence of strangers for a person diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder), would be important to consider as well.
Avoidant personality disorder is included within Cluster C (fearfulanxious) of the Axis II personality disorders and is characterized by the DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000) as "a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts" (p.
Individuals with avoidant personality disorder are likely to present with other Axis I anxiety disorders, other personality disorders (especially dependent personality disorder), and mood disorders (APA, 2000; Oldham et al., 1995).
As mentioned above, there are currently no empirically-validated or manualized treatments for avoidant personality disorder; however, the available evidence suggests that CBT is an effective treatment for this disorder and should be considered a first-line treatment.
Given the social nature of the fears most often seen in avoidant personality disorder, group therapy (e.g., Heimberg et al., 1990) appears to be particularly well-suited for the treatment of this condition as it offers many opportunities for in-session exposure exercises.
It should be noted that more behaviorally-oriented therapists may prefer an "exposure therapy only" type of approach to the treatment of avoidant personality disorder that does not include a cognitive- restructuring component.
Although the treatment outcome literature suggests that CBT and exposure therapy are likely to be effective treatments for avoidant personality disorder, it is still clear that, like all personality-disordered clients, individuals with avoidant personality disorder will present special challenges to therapists.
Intensive behavioral group treatment of avoidant personality disorder. Behavior Therapy, 21(3), 363-377.
A test of the therapeutic mechanism in social skills training with avoidant personality disorder. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 177(12), 739-744.
Social phobia and avoidant personality disorder: One spectrum disorder?