Abusive help – helping abuse: the psychodynamic impact of severe personality disorder on caring institutions

Personality-disordered patients have invariably suffered abuse at the hands of carers when young, and they tend to repeat an abusive relationship when they encounter care in later life. The provision of care in psychiatric, forensic, penal and other institutions may degenerate into a form of unconscious abuse perpetrated against those in care. This is almost always unrecognized and the experience of carers is often to mismanage their own frustrated inability to understand what is happening to them, their charges and the institution.

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