Evaluation report of a Support Worker role practice in a Personality disorders Unit

Evaluation report of a Support Worker role practice in a Personality disorders Unit


Personality disorders are complex and create many challenges to health care providers, social workers, and patients.  Moreover, there are scant empirically- supported therapies on the treatment of personality disorders. The purpose of this paper is to integrate psychological theories and interventions that can help deal with personality disorders at Cygnet Health Care.  Psychology theories concern themselves with the understanding of human behaviors, thoughts, and motions thus forming the basis of both understanding and predicting probable human behaviors. According to Hill et al. (2005), a personality disorder is marked by unhealthy thinking patterns, behaviors, and mental functions.  Persons experiencing personality disorder have challenges in both perceiving and relating to their environment.

Before embarking on the role of social workers in the treatment of the condition, it is vital to the point that there are different types of personality disorders. A paranoid personality disorder is occasioned by suspiciousness of other persons as well as a pervasive distrust. Such persons are often seen to be alienated from society and defensive.  The other type of personality disorder is the schizoid personality disorder that leads to a restricted range of emotional expression and pervasive pattern of social detachment. The third type of disorder is the schizotypal personality disorder where the affected people tend to experience cognitive and perceptual distortions that disrupt their interactions with other persons.

The borderline personality disorder act as one of the widely studied mental disorder and is common among many people.  The health care providers in the facility take an active role in aiding the victims to deal with the condition. The health care provides first undertake to ensure that there is an evaluation of all the trigger factors and other elements that may contribute to the condition. Based on the Erikson theory, it is evident that the environmental and social factors may impact on the development processes. While positive factors may lead to improved growth and development, it is worth noting that exposure to negative values may trigger mental and emotional instability.

Rather than seeing the world in a normal setting, such persons tend to view the world in a polarized state and are actions of other persons. The failure to understand oneself further implies that such persons have a problem with being consistent. It further complicates the delivery of health care services as they are poor collaborations between the social workers and the health care providers. Other than offering medical services, it is critical to note that there is an emphasis on social support through interventions that brings together family members, health care providers, society members, the patients, counselors, and other experts. The health care institution ensures that there is a link between structural and functional approaches during social support initiatives.

In his theory of Psychosocial Development, Erikson explains that personality is developed through a list of eights stages from infancy to adulthood. Under each stage, there is the risk of undergoing psychosocial crises that may have profound impacts on one’s personality. They may either negatively or positively impact on the relationships with other persons. Erikson notes that the successful completion of each development stage leads to a healthy personality as well as the acquisition of the basic values.  Some of the common virtues attained during the development process include trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame, and inductivity vs. inferiority and intimacy vs. isolation.  Some of the basic virtues that are attained in these stages include hope, will, fidelity, wisdom, and competency.

Personality disorders create complications in social activities, school, work, and relationships. Cygnet Health Care is one of the leading health care institutions in the United Kingdom and has over a hundred centers in the country. It is a subsidiary of the Universal Health Services and has its offices in Sevenoaks, Kent. The health care facilities have 338 beds, 25 wards and 15 rehabilitation sites that are spread across the country. While Cygnet Health Care offers many health care services, the paper will narrow to the treatment of personality disorders in ward settings and the roles that are played by social workers at Cygnet Health Care. Some of the theories and models that will be used include the operant conditioning model, behaviorism, Sigmund’s psychoanalysis theory, and Erikson’s theory of Psychosocial Development and the Attachment Theory.

Hill et al. (2005) explain that Erikson’s theory offers a comprehensive ground for aiding social workers in a better understanding of human behaviors, thoughts, and emotions.  Other than just describing the behaviors of the persons undergoing personality disorder, the theories further allow for the prediction of future behaviors. Both the social workers and the health care providers in the institution are guided by the developmental theories in describing elements that may disrupt human behaviors. An example is Kohlberg’s theory of moral development that offers a highlight of the elements that ensures that there is conformity to the set laws and way of life among other society members. Peoples with personality disorders are labeled as being unable to connect or interact with other society members smoothly.

According to Hill et al. (2005), social support refers to the intertwined social connections that contribute to the wellbeing and longevity of an individual. Other than aiding during difficult times, it makes one feel valued and appreciated by other society members. It is an ideal way of reducing both depression and anxiety as it gives both meaning and purpose to an individual.  The social support initiatives in the health care inititutions focus on the quality and function of social relationships. It implies that there is increased stress on social integration in the health care facility as being embedded on social connections makes it possible to deal with stress within a short time. The health care providers further equip the concerned persons with the skills and strategies of dealing with stress and depression.

Studies indicate that persons with personality disorders tend to have mood swings, emotional outbursts, strained relationships, and chronic abandonment fears. These behaviors make one feel left out and vulnerable thus complicating their conditions. In other cases, the condition is compounded by exposure to disruptive social factors or strained family relationships. It implies that one of the ways of dealing with the condition is equipping the concerned person with the skills that are required to manage stress and other depression moments without having outbursts. The health care providers take the patients through the symptoms, trigger factors and the ways of dealing with the condition. A better understanding of the condition implies that there will be a better approach to dealing with the condition.

Through dealing with isolation and harmful trigger factors such as discrimination or harassment, there is the view that the quality of life of the patient can be improved. The health care facility is keen on creating stable patient and provider relationships. The contract ensures that the patients can easily confide to the health care provider. Based on the Erikson model, positive interactions with other persons allows for better dealing with stress. Communication and interaction with other parties are one of the ways that persons undergoing mental instability can attain an improved quality of life. Rather than just treating the symptoms, there is the stress on the trigger factors and equipping the patients with the skills to resist stress and depression.

While there has been the creation of many interventions by the institution, it is worth noting that there are many areas that need to be improved to ensure that the persons register an improved quality of life (Trotter, 2015). Currently, there are limited follow-ups on the patients thus meaning that the health care providers do not continue their support after the patients leave the health care facility. The situation increases the risk of a reoccurrence of the condition and affecting the wellbeing of the patient. It is recommendable to ensure that the health care team continue its support where there is regular monitoring of the patients. The move is of great aid as it offers the support that is required to deal with the condition and ensure that the transition to a normal life.

Another recommendation is to have regular tests on the patents even when they leave the facility as the move allows for the monitoring of their progress. It is shocking to note that most cases of mental complication go unnoticed until they become chronic. However, determining the condition during the early stages offers increased chances of dealing with the condition. It is also a way of ensuring that the patients are not exposed to the risks factors. Likewise, health care services ought to be integrated with psychological theories and models. The argument rests on the fact that each case of personality disorder is different and needs unique interventions. Lastly, there is a similar need to increase the level of collaboration between health care providers, family members, and patients. In many cases, there is a tendency to sideline the patents in the treatment processes. However, such a trend is ineffective and may delay the recovery processes.




Hill, J., Swales, M., & Byatt, M. (2005). Personality disorders. A clinician’s handbook of child and adolescent psychiatry, 330-363.

Trotter, C. (2015). Working with involuntary clients: A guide to practice. Routledge.