The objective of this pilot-study is to report the preliminary results of a specifically designed therapy for gifted students enrolled in highly competitive PhD programs. We outlined a case series design (n=7), with initial, final, and 1-month follow-up assessments.
Inclusion criteria were: to be a student in an international PhD program; to be defined as a gifted student (at least one WAIS-IV Index ≥130); to be diagnosed with a personality disorder in accordance with DSM-5 Alternative Model of Personality Disorders. Primary outcomes were general symptomatology, social disconnection, and personality disorder severity.
Secondary outcomes were the presumed therapeutic targets: overcontrol, perfectionism, and self-criticism. The intervention was a 6-month third wave cognitive behavioral therapy aimed at promoting adaptive self-soothing and metacognitive strategies. At the end of the intervention all the participants showed reliable changes in both primary and secondary outcomes.