The Working with Personality Disorders - Level 3 Course is designed for people who wish to gain an understanding of working with personality disorders and the basic skills required to work with such complex conditions. No prior knowledge is required although a reasonable level of literacy, to at least Level Two, is advisable as is a keen interest in the subject.

On successful completion of this course students will receive an accredited Level 3 Certificate of Achievement.


After studying this course, students will:

  • Have an understanding of personality disorders

  • Understand possible causes

  • Have knowledge of the different treatments available

  • Be able to list sources of help and advice in a range of situations

  • Have a clear understanding of how to work with these complex conditions.

The Course Includes the Following Units:-

  • Unit 1 – Classifications of Personality Disorder

The following topics are covered: Diagnostic criteria - DSM; and ICD.

  • Unit 2 – The History & Explanations of Personality Disorders

The following topics are covered: What are personality Disorders?; Paranoid; Schizoid; Schizo typical; Anti Social; Borderline; Histrionic; Narcissistic; Avoidant; Dependent; and Obsessive.

  • Unit 3 – Presentation of Personality Disorder

The following topics are covered: Self Harm; Coping with Borderline Personality Disorder; Eating disorders; Addictions; OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Stress; Anxiety; Depression and Bipolar; and Dissociative disorders.

  • Unit 4 – Common Generalisations & Misconceptions

The following topics are covered: Manipulative; Attention seeking; Demanding; and Obstructive.

  • Unit 5 – Causes of Personality Disorders

The following topics are covered: Developmental; The role of Peers; Biological; Genetic and Physical.

  • Unit 6 – Treatments

The following topics are covered: Medications, Anti Depressants, Anti Psychotics and Mood Stabilizers; Psychodynamic Psychotherapy; Mentalisation based treatment (MBT); Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT); Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT); Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT); Therapeutic communities; Day hospitals; Solution Focused Therapy; Treatment research; and EMDR – Eye Movement desensitisation restructuring.

  • Unit 7 – Therapeutic Relationship

The following topics are covered: What is Mediation?; When is Mediation called for?; Responsibilities; Preliminaries; The introductory phase; Problem definitions; Respect the parties’ abilities to reach a settlement; Caucus meetings; The second session; Teamwork; The Agreement; and Attributes of a good mediator.

  • Unit 8 – Prognosis

The following topics are covered: Therapeutic relationship; The importance of supervision; Crisis management; and Prognosis.


There are no particular entry requirements.

Course Duration & Support:

You will have access to a tutor via post or email. In addition you will be supplied with a comprehensive Study Guide which will help you through the study and assessment process.


You will be assessed on coursework which is detailed in the course materials. Most coursework consists of short paragraph answers to set questions. Your work can be sent back to your course tutor by email or by post.


ABC AwardsOn successful completion of this course students will receive a Working with Personality Disorders Certificate of Achievement by ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units you have completed as part of your course).

The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.

Information on level descriptors can be found on the Ofqual Qualification & Credit Framework level descriptors page.

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards’ Quality Licence Scheme. ABC Awards’ endorsement involves a robust and rigorous quality audit by external inspectors to ensure quality is consistently met. A regular review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process. This means that the course developers (UKDLP) have undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria.

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