RESEARCH PAPER
Levels of personality organization and internal relational patterns
 
More details
Hide details
Submission date: 2017-09-20
Final revision date: 2018-09-13
Acceptance date: 2018-09-13
Online publication date: 2018-12-19
Publication date: 2018-12-17
 
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2018;6(4):292–304
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
This study aimed to determine whether level of personality organization is associated with a relational pattern present in an autobiographical narrative about an important interpersonal relationship. The main goals were to explore whether and how the components of the internal relationship pattern, and whether and how the configurations of the components, are related to personality organization, when integrated personality organization (IPO) is taken into account.

Participants and procedure:
Assessment of the relational patterns was based on the Core Conflictual Relationship Theme (CCRT) – wishes (WS), responses from others (RO), and responses of the self (RS) – as identified from participants’ self-narratives about important relationships (N = 90).

Results:
One-way analysis of variance revealed significant differences between groups with different levels of personality organization, according to one wish of self (WS2 To oppose, hurt, control), five responses of others (RO4 Bad; RO5 Rejecting; RO6 Helpful; RO7 Likes me; RO8 Understanding), and three responses of self (RS1 Helpful; RS4 Oppose and hurt others; RS8 Anxious). Considering the configurations of WS + RO + RS, the results indicate that in the borderline personality organization (BPO) group, the WS Libidinal + RO Frustrating + RS Negative pattern is most prevalent, while in the neurotic personality organization (NPO) and IPO groups, the WS Libidinal + RO Fulfilling + RS Negative and the WS Libidinal + RO Fulfilling + RS Positive configurations are most frequent.

Conclusions:
The study supports the thesis that component relationship patterns and their configurations might be related to personality organization. The main differences were found between BPO and IPO with NPO placed between them, in a way congruent with Kernberg’s theory.

 
REFERENCES (44)
1.
Barber, J. P., Luborsky, L., Diguer, L., & Crits-Christoph, P. (1995). A comparison of core conflictual relationship themes before psychotherapy and during early sessions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63, 145–148.
 
2.
Benedik, E. (2009). Representational structures and psychopathology: Analysis of spontaneous descriptions of self and significant others in patients with different mental disorders. Psychiatria Danubina, 21, 14–24.
 
3.
Benjamin, L. S. (1996). Interpersonal diagnosis and treatment of personality disorders. New York: Guilford Press.
 
4.
Bourke, M. E., & Grenyer, B. S. (2010). Psychotherapists’ response to borderline personality disorder: A core conflictual relationship theme analysis. Psychotherapy Research, 20, 680–691. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2010.504242.
 
5.
Brzozowski, P., & Drwal, R. Ł. (1995). Kwestionariusz Osobowości Eysencka EPQ-R [Eysenck Personality Questionnaire – Revised]. Warsaw: Pracownia Testów Psychologicznych PTP.
 
6.
Cierpiałkowska, L. (2001). Adaptacja Kwestionariusza Osobowości Borderline F. Leichsenringa [Polish adaptation of the Leichsenring Borderline Personality Inventory]. Unpublished manuscript.
 
7.
Cierpka, M., Strack, M., Benninghoven, D., Staats, H., Dahlbender, R., Pokorny, D., & Körner, A. (1998). Stereotypical relationship patterns and psychopathology. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 67, 241–248. doi: 10.1159/000012286.
 
8.
Clarkin, J. F., Lenzenweger, M. F., Yeomans, F., Levy, K. N., & Kernberg, O. F. (2007). An object relations model of borderline pathology. Journal of Personality Disorders, 21, 474–499.
 
9.
Colli, A., Tanzilli, A., Gualco, I., & Lingiardi, V. (2016). Empirically derived relational pattern prototypes in the treatment of personality disorders. Psychopathology, 49, 364–373.
 
10.
Critchfield, K. L., & Benjamin, L. S. (2010). Assessment of repeated relational patterns for individual cases using the SASB-based Intrex questionnaire. Journal of Personality Assessment, 92, 480–489. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2010.513286.
 
11.
Crits-Christoph, P., Demorest, A., Muenz, L. R., & Baranackie, K. (1994). Consistency of interpersonal themes for patients in psychotherapy. Journal of Personality, 62, 499–526.
 
12.
Diguer, L., Lefebvre, R., Drapeau, M., Luborsky, L., Rousseau, J.-P., Hébert, É., Daoust, J.-P., Pelletier, S., Scullion, M., & Descôteaux, J. (2001). The core conflictual relationship theme of psychotic, borderline, and neurotic personality organizations. Psychotherapy Research, 11, 169–186.
 
13.
Dimaggio, G. (2014). Hitting the bull’s eye in personality disorders psychotherapy. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 44, 65–70. doi: 10.1007/s10879-013-9257-5.
 
14.
Drapeau, M., & Perry, J. C. (2004). Interpersonal conflicts in borderline personality disorder: An exploratory study using the CCRT-LU. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 63, 53–57.
 
15.
Drapeau, M., & Perry, J. C., (2009). The Core Conflictual Relationship themes (CCRT) in borderline personality disorder. Journal of Personality Disorders, 23, 425–431.
 
16.
Drapeau, M., Perry, J. C., & Körner, A. (2010). Interpersonal behaviours and BPD. Are specific interpersonal behaviours related to borderline personality disorder? An empirical study using the Core Conflictual Relationship Theme standard categories. Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, 3, 5–10.
 
17.
Edward, J., Ruskin, N., & Turrini, P. (1981). Separation-individuation. Theory and application. New York: Gardner Press.
 
18.
Eysenck, S. B. G., Eysenck, H. J., & Barrett, P. (1985). A revised version of the Psychoticism scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 6, 21–29.
 
19.
Freud, S. (1915/2002). Popędy i ich losy. In Z. Rosiń­ska (Ed). Freud. Warszawa: Wiedza Powszechna.
 
20.
Gonçalves, M. M., Ribeiro, A. P., Mendes, I., Alves, D., Silva, J., Rosa, C., Braga, C., Batista, J., Fernández-Navarro, P., & Oliveira, J. T. (2016). Three narrative-based coding systems: Innovative moments, ambivalence and ambivalence resolution. Psychotherapy Research, 18, 1–13. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2016.1247216.
 
21.
Górska, D. (2006). Uwarunkowania dysregulacji emocjonalnej u osób z zaburzeniem osobowości borderline [Determinants of the emotional dysregulation in borderline personality disorder]. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Bogucki.
 
22.
Górska, D., & Soroko, E. (2017). Between verbalization and reflection: Studies on referential activity and narrative processes in borderline personality organization. Psychoanalytic Psychology. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pap0....
 
23.
Grenyer, B. F. S. (2012). The clinician’s dilemma: Core conflictual relationship themes in personality disorders. ACPARIAN, 4, 25–27.
 
24.
Hibbard, S., Porcerelli, J., Kamoo, R., Schwartz, M., & Abell, S. (2010). Defense and object relational maturity on thematic apperception test scales indicate levels of personality organization. Journal of Personality Assessment, 92, 241–253.
 
25.
Jefferson, G. (2004). Glossary of transcript symbols with an introduction. In G. H. Lerner (Ed.), Conversation Analysis: Studies from the first generation (pp. 13–23). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
 
26.
Kernberg, O. F. (2004). Borderline personality disorder and borderline personality organization: psychopathology and psychotherapy. In J. J. Magnavita (Ed.), Handbook of Personality Disorders. Theory and Practice (pp. 92-119). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
 
27.
Kernberg, O. F. (2005). Object relation theory and technique. In E. S. Person, A. M. Cooper, & G. O. Gabbard (Eds.), Textbook of psychoanalysis (pp. 57-75). London: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.
 
28.
Leichsenring, F. (1999). Development and first results of the Borderline Personality Inventory: a self-report instrument for assessing borderline personality organization. Journal of Personality Assessment, 73, 45–63.
 
29.
Leichsenring, F. (2004). Quality of depressive experiences in borderline personality disorders: Differences between patients with borderline personality disorder and patients with higher levels of personality organization. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 68, 9–22.
 
30.
Loban, W. (1976). Language development: kindergarten through grade twelve. Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English.
 
31.
Luborsky, L. (1984). Principles of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. A manual for supportive-expressive treatment. USA: Basic Books.
 
32.
Luborsky, L. (1998). The relationship anecdotes paradigm (RAP) interview as a versatile source of narratives. In L. Luborsky & P. Crits-Christoph (Eds.), Understanding transference: The core conflictual relationship theme method (pp. 109–120). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
 
33.
Luborsky, L., & Friedman, S. (1998). Illustration of the CCRT scoring guide. In L. Luborsky & P. Crits-Christoph (Eds.), Understanding transference: The Core Conflictual Relationship Theme method. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
 
34.
Luborsky, L., Diguer, L., Andrusyna, T., Tarca, C., Popp, C. A., Ermold, J., & Silberschatz, G. (2004). A method of choosing CCRT scorers. Psychotherapy Research, 14, 127–134.
 
35.
Luborsky, L., & Barrett, M. (2007). The Core Conflictual Relationship Theme: A basic case formulation method. In T. D. Eells (Ed.) Handbook of Psychotherapy Case Formulations (pp. 105-135). London: The Guilford Press.
 
36.
Marszał, M. (2015). Mentalizacja w kontekście przywiązania. Zdolność do rozumienia siebie i innych u osób z osobowością borderline [Mentalization in the context of attachment. Ability to understand oneself and others in people with borderline personality]. Warsaw: Difin.
 
37.
de Roten, Y., Drapeau, M., Stigler, M., & Despland, J.-N. (2004). Yet another look at the CCRT: The relation between Core Conflictual Relationship Themes and defensive functioning. Psychotherapy Research, 14, 252–260.
 
38.
Sommerfeld, E., Orbach, I., Zim, S., & Mikulincer, M. (2008). An in-session exploration of ruptures in working alliance and their associations with clients’ core conflictual relationship themes, alliance-related discourse, and clients’ post-session evaluations. Psychotherapy Research, 18, 377–388.
 
39.
Soroko, E. (2009). Wywoływanie autonarracji w badaniach psychologicznych. Ocena (auto)narracyjności wypowiedzi [Eliciting of self-narratives in psychological research and diagnosis. Assessment of the (self)narrativity of utterancs]. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM.
 
40.
Soroko, E. (2014). Internal relationship patterns in borderline and neurotic personality organization: An analysis of self-narratives. Polish Journal of Applied Psychology, 12, 9–28.
 
41.
Trepanier, L., Perry, J., Koerner, A., Stamoulos, C., Sheptycki, A., & Drapeau, M. (2013). A study of the similarity between the three models of interpersonal functioning of patients with Borderline Personality Disorder. Submitted as a brief research report. Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, 15, 55–60.
 
42.
Vinnars, B., Frydman Dixon, S., & Barber, J. P. (2013) Pragmatic psychodynamic psychotherapy: Bridging contemporary psychoanalytic clinical practice and evidence-based psychodynamic practice, Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 33, 567–583. doi: 10.1080/07351690.2013.835159.
 
43.
Vinnars, B., & Barber, J. P. (2008). Supportive-expressive psychotherapy for comorbid personality disorders: A case study. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 64, 195–206. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20452.
 
44.
Wilczek, A., Weinryb, R. M., Barber, J. P., Gustavsson, J. P., & Asberg, M. (2000). The core conflictual relationship theme (CCRT) and psychopathology in patients selected for dynamic psychotherapy. Psychotherapy Research, 10, 100–113.
 
eISSN:2353-561X
ISSN:2353-4192