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Working through the body in Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy to change relational patterns in dependent personality disorder: The case of Lia
  • Tiziana Passarella,
  • Vittoria Galasso,
  • Giancarlo Dimaggio
Tiziana Passarella
Center for Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy
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Vittoria Galasso
Center for Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy, Rome
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Giancarlo Dimaggio

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Persons with dependent personality disorder (DPD) have difficulties describing their inner world, and in realizing their negative ideas about the self, such as being weak, unworthy or powerless are just ideas. As a consequence, they tend to over-rely on others and may lose control over their emotions. Treating these persons can gain benefits from including body-focused techniques as they can promote a) awareness of internal states, b) better emotion regulation, c) the capacity to consider their negative ideas about themselves as not necessarily true, and d) gain power of and agency. We will describe the therapist used body-focused techniques in the context of Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy when treating Lia, a 40-year-old woman suffering from DPD who also suffered from generalized anxiety disorder and had difficulties in making autonomous choices. She had a romantic relationship with a man she described as distant and judgmental so she felt lonely and not entitled to express her discomfort or capable to break up. The therapist used body-focused techniques, together with behavioural exposure, mindfulness and guided imagery, in order to let Lia be more aware of her thoughts and feelings, and then to regulate affects and realize she had previously capacities. At therapy termination anxiety diminished and she could break up with the partner and start a new one where she felt free to express herself. We suggest how bodily-focused techniques can be used to enhance therapy effectiveness in DPD.
10 Nov 2023Submitted to Journal of Clinical Psychology
11 Nov 2023Assigned to Editor
11 Nov 2023Submission Checks Completed
14 Nov 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
15 Nov 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned