My male friend/boyfriend of seven years has a chronic habit of lies, seeking conflict, and is unable to maintain any kind of friendship. He is very unsociable and is so discomforting to be around that any friends we had don’t care to be around him any longer. The lies and stories he creates touch all areas of his life and have even involved him in legal battles. He is very self centered and prefers not to be social except to be around me. I have raised the issue in the past but he is in complete denial and will not even discuss it. It is worsening with age. He is now fifty seven. If he was open to it, what types of therapy are available for this kind of issue? Thank you.

A. If your friend were open to treatment then cognitive or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could be beneficial. That’s a general answer but it is important to mention that the type of treatment best for an individual can only really be determined after meeting the client. Treatment for each individual client is unique and that is why it is difficult to give you a specific answer.

I am not certain what type of disorder, if any, your friend has but I suspect he may have a personality disorder. I am hesitant to offer a diagnosis because I have so little information about your friend.

The difficulty you may face is convincing your friend to seek treatment. If someone does not believe that there is an issue (which seems to be case) then it is extremely difficult to convince them that they need to seek treatment for an issue they don’t believe they have. It is worth a try.

If his behavior is a problem in the relationship and he refuses to seek help then you need to carefully examine whether you wish to continue the relationship. You cannot change or “fix” someone especially when they deny that a problem exists. Please keep that in mind when you consider continuing the relationship.

I hope I have answered your question. If you have a followup question or need clarification please feel free to write back. Please take care.