Dedicated to the Study of Personality Disorders
The Center for Transference-Focused Psychotherapy

The Personality Disorders Institute (PDI) under the leadership of Otto F. Kernberg, M.D., director, and John F. Clarkin, Ph.D., co-director, is an internationally recognized group of mental health professionals examining the range of personality pathology, including that of borderline personality disorder, and developing empirically supported treatment for these patients. Individuals suffering from personality disorder are characterized by disturbances in self-definition and functioning, and disturbances in their interpersonal relations. Personality disorders are often accompanied by depression, anxiety, self-destructive and suicidal behavior, and serious disturbances in intimate relations, social relations, and work productivity.

The interdisciplinary professionals in the PDI have authored and edited multiple books on psychodynamic theory, practice, techniques, and research findings. These experts have lectured at major conferences concerning personality pathology internationally.

Our team provides training on the treatment of personality pathology both nationally and internationally. We have helped establish TFP training and research sites in Quebec City, Canada; Munich, Germany; Vienna, Austria; London, England; and the Netherlands.

Seminars & Conferences More Details

Videoconference Training in Transference-Focused Psychotherapy

Sponsored by the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research,  September 15, 2015 - June 9, 2016

Transference-Focused Psychotherapy: 1) Evolution of Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder and 2) A Theoretical Model and Treatment Techniques for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Deree College - American College of Greece, Athens,  December 3 - 5, 2015

Notable Publications More Details

Transference-Focused Psyhotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: A Clinical Guide first provides clinicians with a model of borderline pathology that is essential for expert assessment and treatment planning and then addresses the empirical underpinnings and specific therapeutic strategies of transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP). 2015.

Analysis of data from the Weill Cornell PDI RCT found that, among the treatments that were studied, only TFP was associated with change in fundamental psychological process such as reflective functioning and internal working model of attachment:
Levy KN, Meehan KB, Kelly, KM, et al: Change in attachment patterns and reflective function in a randomized control trial of transference-focused psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(6):1027-1040, 2006.

The PDI completed data analysis on the randomized, controlled trial of three treatments for Borderline Personality Disorder:
Clarkin, J.F., Levy, K.N., Lenzenweger, M.F., & Kernberg, O.F. (2007).
Evaluating three treatments for borderline personality disorder: a multiwave study.
American Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 922-928.

Colleagues in Europe carried out an RCT on TFP, thus helping establish TFP as an evidence-based treatment:
Doering S, Hörz S, Rentrop M, Fischer-Kern M, Schuster P, Benecke C, Buchheim A, Martius P, and Buchheim P: TFP vs. treatment by community therapists for BPD: RCT.
British Journal of Psychiatry, 196(5), 2010.

The nature of personality disorders and their treatment:
Levy, Wasserman, Scott, Yeomans (2009)
Empirical evidence for transference focused psychotherapy and other psychodynamic psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder.

Please Note: Due to Federal regulations, we are not able to respond to any clinical questions by e-mail. This includes requests for referrals. In most parts of the country, information regarding referrals can be obtained from the local branches of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers. They often have lists of therapists who specialize in specific areas of treatment.

For more information about borderline personality — both about the condition and about resources please visit the Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center.

Our Affiliates

International Society of Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (ISTFP)

Dept. of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
Medical University of Vienna
Währinger Gürtel 18-20, A-1090 Wien, Austria

The Personality Studies Institute

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3200
New York, NY 10168

Members of this institute focus on teaching and training mental health professionals in TFP. In addition we continue to research aspects of personality disorders and offer treatment through our individual practices. View website.