Department of Psychiatry
School of Medicine Queen's University

Elective Rotation

Personality Disorders Service: Elective Rotation

Personality Disorders constitute a challenging aspect of any psychiatric practice.  The RCPSC recommends that the resident have exposure  to all aspects of these disorders.  Training Site: Personality Disorders Service, Providence Care - LaSalle Mews. A 3-block rotation at Personality Disorders Service is mandatory for PGY-4 psychiatry residents.

Medical Expert:

  • Take an appropriate history and conduct a mental status examination in order to diagnose personality disorders
  • Document treatment history and outcome
  • Conduct a thoughtful and reasonable diagnostic work up
  • Formulate a treatment plan based on the biopsychosocial approach
  • Observe a range of psychotherapeutic groups designed to treat patients with personality disorders
  • Become familiar with psychodynamic and dialectical behavioural therapy treatment approaches with patients suffering from personality disorders
  • Learn and observe common factors in the delivery of effective psychotherapy


  • Learn the elements necessary to establish therpeutic relationship with patient(s)     
  • Demonstrate the ability to serve as a model for healthy interpersonal relating and to communicate deeply and creatively while at the same time maintaining appropriate professional boundaries
  • Communicate effectively with physician colleagues, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and all other professional colleagues, respecting the unique expertise of all


  • Work constructively in a multidisciplinary team, acknowledge the special role of all health care professionals in care of patients
  • Collaborate with other specialists in the community involved in the care of patients
  • Collaborate with family members regarding the health of patient and family


  • Understand the crucial importance of resource management and cross-discipline resource allocation and utilization

Health Advocate:

  • Be able to implement a model of care to provide a framework for improving quality of life for individuals suffering from personality disorders and their families


  • Become familiar with basic literature on common factors in psychotherapies and transference-based, mentalization, and dialectical behavioural therapies


  • Develop awareness of biased attitudes often shown toward patients with personality disorders
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and awareness of differences and needs regarding patients from a range of cultures, races, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identities
  • Deliver highest quality care to this patient population with compassion, integrity and respect

This experience will enable a psychiatry resident to observe a wide range of psychotherapeutic groups focused on the four modalities of dialectical behavioural therapy including: Seeking Safety,  Goals, People Skills, Mindfulness, Managing Powerful Emotions, Art, Values.