Interpersonal therapy helps to build the ego strength needed to recognize situations that set off regressive patterns. Individuals with APD need to learn about maladaptive patterns and their roots, make the decision to change, and learn new patterns. There are five categories of therapeutic response: facilitating collaboration, helping the individual learn about patterns, blocking maladaptive patterns, enabling the will to change, and teaching new patterns. (Benjamin, 1983, p. 132)
An interpersonal focus in treatment would address the specific relationships in the individuals' past that resulted in the "burnt child" reaction to people and relationships. It would also be important to look for interpersonal experiences that have been rewarding (Craig, Retzlaff, 1995, p. 79).