over the last decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of instruments devised to assess personality disorder. many of these measures have been modelled after the dsm categories expressed in the axis ii. however, several authors have expressed concerns with regards to the way personality disorders are described in this classification system. the aim of the present study is to describe and characterize the main psychometric problems which have been found among those measures such as high co-morbidity of personality disorder diagnoses, lack of agreement between instruments, excessive focus on observable symptoms, lack of developmental emphasis, and divergence from clinical practice. conclusions are drawn with regards to the need to conduct validity studies on the personality disorder constructs and to develop alternative assessment methods. in this line, an overview of some preliminary attempts to circumvent some of the assessment problems is presented, namely research efforts stemming from psychoanalytic models.