Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor in Psychology (Psy. D.)


This original contribution to practice explores the significance of clinician biases and countertransference in assessing, diagnosing, and treating Cluster B personality disorders (Cluster B PD). An extensive literature review examines research on defining Cluster B PD (e.g., Antisocial, Borderline, Narcissistic, and Histrionic), current evidence-based treatments, barriers to treatment, stigma related to overall mental health and to Cluster B PD, gender and culture bias, countertransference, and burnout. Further, a qualitative study examined the experiences of licensed psychologists and student trainees under the supervision of licensed psychologists to answer the following research questions: What are the experiences of psychologist working with Cluster B PD? From their perspective, what challenges and/or barriers do they encounter? How do they overcome these challenges and/or barriers? A total of 15 participants responded to a questionnaire discussing their experience. Data analysis revealed clinicians personally experiencing challenges and treatment interfering behaviors from their patients. Many participants spoke about personally experiencing countertransference while working with this population and that it has impacted their therapeutic relationship with patients. To overcome these challenges and barriers, the participants emphasized the importance of consultation, supervision, continuing education, awareness of own biases and the significance of self-care.

Faculty Mentor

Dustin Wygant, Ph.D.

Department Affiliation


Committee Member

Melinda Moore, Ph.D.

Department Affiliation


Committee Member

Michael McClellan, Ph.D.

Department Affiliation


IRB Approval Number (if applicable)


Included in

Psychology Commons