Character Disturbances and Disorders, Part 1: Key differences between neurosis and character disturbance

Character Disturbances and Disorders

Part 1: Key differences between neurosis and character disturbance in nature and therapeutic approach

About this course

In classical psychology, emotional and psychological distress is caused by internal, unconscious conflict. This conflict is eventually manifested in psychoneurotic symptoms. But according to Dr. George Simon, this traditional conceptualization does not explain what is happening in people with character disturbances and disorders. In this course, Dr. Simon explains the differences between classical neurosis and character disorder. He explains why typical insight-oriented therapy does not work with disordered individuals, and lays the foundation for an alternative approach.


  • The classical definition of “neurosis” — and why it doesn’t explain character disorder
  • Why traditional insight-oriented therapy fails with character disorders
  • Why character disturbance is a spectrum phenomenon
  • Direct comparison between the traits traditionally considered neurotic and the traits of character disorder
  • The difference between the defense mechanisms and manipulation tactics

 About the instructor

George Simon, PhD, has specialized in disturbances of personality and character for over 30 years, and is widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on manipulative personalities and other problem characters. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from Texas Tech University, and until just a few years ago maintained an active private practice in which he served both individuals with serious character disturbances and their relationship partners. Dr. Simon has also served as the supervising psychologist for Arkansas’ Sex Offender Risk Assessment program and their only inpatient treatment program for offenders.

His book, In Sheep’s Clothing, is a 5-star review rated international bestseller, published in 10 foreign languages. His other books, Character Disturbance — The Phenomenon of Our Age and The Judas Syndrome, are also bestsellers.  Dr. Simon has appeared on CNN, Fox News Network, and has conducted over 200 instructional seminars and workshops nationwide. He is a full clinical member of ATSA and a Diplomate of the American College Forensic Examiners.

Cost and credits

The cost for this course is $49 for two hours of instruction. Once you purchase the course, you can access it online for six months.

This two-part series offers 4 hours of continuing education credit for mental health professionals. Both parts must be completed to receive credit. For more information on credits, click here.

Mental health professionals who complete 8 Lovefraud CE credits are eligible for a free 12-month listing in the Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide.

No commercial support was provided to Lovefraud Continuing Education or the instructor for this program.

Learning objectives

This workshop will enable mental health professionals to:

  1. Describe a framework for understanding and dealing with character-related problems
  2. Explain the key differences between “neurotic” and character-impaired personalities
  3. Discuss the neurosis — character disturbance continuum and the character disturbance vs. disorder spectrum
  4. Analyze the level of character disturbance
  5. Explain the differences between traditional and character-constructive therapy approaches

Program Agenda

 Instruction — 55 minutes

  • Classical definition of neurosis
    • Role of anxiety
    • Role of unconscious defense mechanisms
  • Classical definition of personality
  • Multidimensional perspective on personality
  • Personality vs. character

5 minutes break

50 minutes of instruction

  • The character disturbance continuum
  • Traits of neurosis vs. character disturbance
    • Overactive vs. absent conscience
    • Unconscious vs. conscious motives
    • Conflicted emotions vs. erroneous thinking
    • Motivation to change vs. resistance
  • Common characteristics of disturbed/disordered characters
  • Cognitive-behavioral triad
  • Defense mechanisms vs. responsibility resistance and power tactics
  • Traditional vs. character-constructive therapy

10 minutes questions and answers

Here’s a sample of this program:

If you have clients with personality disorders, what do you do? Traditional insight-oriented approaches don’t work. It’s time to use therapeutic leverage, address erroneous thinking patterns and encourage here-and-now change, which is what you will learn in this course.

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