Go to main content
BPS News

BPS welcomes new personality disorders consensus statement

11 January 2018

The British Psychological Society welcomes the consensus statement launched today in Westminster: 'People with complex mental health difficulties who are diagnosed with a personality disorder' co-led by the Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP and Sue Sibbald, Peer Specialist.

The Society is supportive of the joint professional and expert by experience call to action to stop the exclusion of people who have been diagnosed, or would be diagnosed, with personality disorder from mental health services and to reduce the associated health and social inequalities and disadvantages that lead to a much lower life expectancy.

Of equal importance is the recognition of the research that for many people it is social inequalities, discrimination and adverse childhood experiences that are the main causal factors in (cause) the difficulties they experience.

Using a trauma-informed framework for service provision at every opportunity and ensuring that service users are offered a co-created psychological formulation is the most effective way of supporting (helping) service users, the people in their social networks - family, friends, carers – and the staff providing the services.

The Society is pleased that its expert members contributed to the publication and thanks all those involved in opening debate in this area and increasing awareness of this important issue. In particular, the Society welcomes acknowledgement of the importance of talking about the difficulties experienced by people, especially young people, in ways that do not position them as the problem (the way in which people, particularly young people, are spoken to so they aren’t left feeling like they are the problem.)

The Society’s President, Nicola Gale said “The consensus statement demonstrates the need for all health, social care, housing, employment, benefit, education, criminal justice and related services to work in a co-ordinated way and be provided based on need rather than a diagnostic label. Prevention is key and a public health as well as economic imperative. Reducing child abuse, social inequalities and discrimination is a priority for all”

Dr Ché Rosebert, on behalf of the Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology’s ‘Personality Disorder’ Reference Group and The Beyond Diagnosis Group said:
“The statement shows an encouraging willingness to embrace critiques of the concept of ‘personality disorder’. Given that the diagnosis can be experienced as very damaging, service users are entitled to be informed about its limitations and to be offered alternatives such as psychological formulation, rather than have the diagnosis imposed as a fact. This is an excellent opportunity to widen the whole debate about mental health”.

Download your free copy of 'Shining lights in dark corners of people's lives: People with complex mental health difficulties who are diagnosed with a personality disorder'




Top of page