Creating a Liminal Space: How Interpreting Behavior as an Evolutionarily Driven Adaptation Informs the Treatment of Personality Disorders
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Despite the undeniable toll on individuals, families, and health care systems, 30 years of clinical work and research around personality disorders has failed to yield neither a solid conceptual understanding of dysfunction nor an effective treatment. In response, this thesis explores the role of evolutionarily driven adaptations in both the etiology of personality disorders and implications for treatment. Concepts pertaining to evolutionary psychology, neurobiology, epigenetics and environmental effects come together to provide a more rounded view of the relevance and resistance of pervasive thoughts and behaviors. Implicating a two-‐stage model grounded in the theoretical stages of liminality, I advocate for a new approach to understanding and treating personality disorders.