Treatment for Avoidant Personality Disorder
As with most personality disorders, the treatment of choice is
psychotherapy. While individual therapy is usually the preferred modality, group therapy
can be useful if the client can agree to attend enough sessions. Because of the basic components of this disorder, though, it is often difficult to have the individual attend group therapy early on in the therapeutic process.
A person diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder has very poor self-esteem and avoids
interactions. A solid relationship founded with good rapport and listening between the
therapist and the client is important to the therapist's effectiveness, and successful therapy also reinforces the possibility of other new relationships. However, forming a solid relationship with a person diagnosed with this disorder is not easy. Once rapport is formed, therapy is usually quite stable.
Medications should only be given to treat clear, acute and serious Axis I diagnoses. Anti-anxiety agents and antidepressants should be prescribed only when there is a clear Axis I diagnosis in conjunction with the personality disorder. Physicians should prevent over prescribing to someone with this disorder, because they will probably end up complaining about being anxious in social situations or feel of disconnected with their feelings. In this way, it is clear that their anxiety is related to the medication and this might even affect the effectiveness of psychotherapy.
Self-help groups are unlikely to be effective because a person with avoidant personality disorder will probably avoid attending such sessions, due to increased anxiety and difficulty interacting socially.