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Assessment Instruments for Personality Disorders

Cognitive therapy uses both categorical and dimensional measures for the assessment of normal and abnormal personalities. Categorical measures, such as structured clinical interviews to determine and document the presence or absence of an Axis II disorder (e.g., SCID-II; First, Spitzer, Gibbon, Williams, & Benjamin, 1994), are often required in clinical and research settings (Beck et al., 2004). Dimensional approaches, such as the SAS discussed above, the Personality Belief Questionnaire (PBQ; Beck & Beck, 1995), and the Young Schema Questionnaire (YSQ; Young & Brown, 1990) involve the assessment of personality traits or trait-like constructs. The advantage of these self-report questionnaires is that they can provide idiographic data to improve the cognitive conceptualization.

Axis II categories and even cognitive profiles are prototypes and, since many patients with personality pathology vary from the prototypical pattern, detailed information about an individual’s core beliefs, thinking style, and problematic behaviors are necessary for a compete assessment.

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