Certain individuals are instinctively distrustful of others. They often feel that the world is against them and others even close friends and family have ulterior motives and seek to harm them. However, there is often no evidence for such a feeling; it is in the mind of the affected individual. This condition is known as ’paranoid personality disorder’ that can only be cured by long term treatment and counseling.
While there are certain medications available for calming the mind, psychotherapy is the preferred mode of treatment as the counselor can often get to the root cause of the problem and then work slowly towards treating it. The counseling process tends to be a long drawn one though as the individual undergoing treatment will be distrustful of his/her counselor as well and such patients are often not turn up for the sessions due to unfound fears of being manipulated.
The most effective type of treatment for ’paranoid personality disorder’ includes:-
- Building up a simple client centric attitude where the entire focus is on the affected individual.
- Creating a rapport with the patient is vital and often requires experienced counselors who slowly and steadily build up the trust between them. Cancellation of the counseling sessions mid way is extremely common here as the patient might suddenly decide not to trust the counselor any more.
- Not challenging the client about his/her theories, however bizarre they are.
- Control issues have to be dealt with extreme care too.
- It is best to adopt a straight forward approach with patients suffering from ’paranoid personality disorder.’
- Jokes and small talk is not likely to put the patient at ease here as opposed to the individuals affected with other mental disorders. It may actually raise suspicions about the counselor with the patient terminating the counseling sessions for good.
- Getting the individual to sign any kind of document or form is bound to backfire too as the patient is likely to treat it as a malevolent gesture.
- Asking the patient about his/her childhood, work place, and family is likely to arouse suspicions as well. The counselor should, therefore, not try to use this approach unless it is directly related to treating the condition.
Patients suffering from ’paranoid personality disorder’ remain very difficult to treat completely and most of them are sure to have a few symptoms throughout their lifetime. A number of them are treated at day care centers or state run hospitals as the disorder requires continuous observation and counseling in total isolation.