Mentalization-based treatment (MBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapeutic approach for borderline personality disorder. MBT is derived. Mentalization-based treatment (MBT) is an integrative form of psychotherapy, bringing together aspects of psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, systemic and ecological approaches. MBT was developed and manualised by Peter Fonagy and Anthony Bateman, designed for individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD).‎Focus of treatment · ‎Treatment procedure · ‎Mechanisms of change. Mentalization based treatment (MBT) is a time-limited treatment which structures interventions that promote the further development of mentalizing. It has been  ‎Abstract · ‎WHAT IS MENTALIZATION? · ‎MENTALIZATION BASED.


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Of course, the story turns out to mentalization based treatment more complicated than this, because these incapacities, palpable at certain times, are not always evident.

But, at moments of emotional distress, particularly distress triggered by actual or threatened loss, the capacity for mentalization is most likely to apparently evaporate.

Mentalization-based therapy (MBT)

The question is how this understanding and the clinical observations can usefully be translated into a therapeutic approach that could be helpful given the prevalence and severity of this clinical problem within a public healthcare system. To this end, we defined some core underpinning techniques to be used in the context of group and individual therapy and labeled them MBT 13 - Only three important aspects of treatment will be considered here, namely the aim of interventions, the therapeutic stance, and mentalizing the transference.

Aims of interventions in MBT The initial task in MBT is to stabilize emotional expression, because without improved control of affect there can be no serious consideration of internal representations.

The aim and the actual outcome of an intervention are more important in MBT than the type of intervention itself. The primary aim of any intervention has to be to reinstate mentalizing when it is lost or to help to maintain it in circumstances when it might be lost or is being lost.

Mentalization based treatment intervention that succeeds in these aims may be used in MBT. As a result of this, MBT takes a more permissive approach to interventions than most other therapies, giving it a plurality in terms of technique which might account for its popularity and appeal to practitioners from different schools as well as the limited amount of training required before practitioners begin using it in their everyday practice.


We do not ask that practitioners learn a new model of therapy from the beginning, but that they mentalization based treatment their current practice focussing on mentalizing rather than behaviours, cognitions, or insight.

Hence, in this collaborative patient-therapist relationship, the two partners involved have a joint responsibility to understand mental processes underpinning events both within and without therapy. In fact we specifically employ transference interpretation, give indicators about when it can be used and carefully define six essential components.

Mentalization based treatment equally we caution practitioners firstly about the commonly stated aim of transference interpretation, namely to provide insight, and secondly about genetic aspects, such as linking current experience to the past, because of their potential iatrogenic effects.

The second step is exploration.

MBT Training

The events which generated the transference feelings must be identified. The behaviours that the thoughts or feelings are tied to need to be made explicit, sometimes in painful detail.


The third step is accepting enactment on the part of the therapist. Most experiences mentalization based treatment the patient in the transference are likely to be based on reality, even if on a very partial connection to it.

Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) Continued

It may be easy to attribute this to the patient, mentalization based treatment this would be completely unhelpful. Drawing attention to such therapist components may be particularly significant in modeling to the patient that one can accept agency for involuntary acts and that mentalization based treatment acts do not invalidate the general attitude which the therapist tries to convey.

Only then can distortions be explored.


Step four is collaboration in arriving at an interpretation. Transference interpretations must be arrived at in the same spirit of collaboration as any other form of interpretive mentalizing.

Mentalization-Based Treatment Training | MBT

The mentalization based treatment we use in training is that the therapist must imagine sitting side-by-side with the patient, not opposite. We suggest these steps are taken in sequence and we talk about mentalizing the transference to distinguish the process from transference interpretation, which mentalization based treatment commonly viewed as a technique to provide insight.

People with the Borderline Personality Disorder exhibit this pattern, and experience relationships in a very intense, but chaotic manner. Lacking the ability to regulate their intense emotions, they mentalization based treatment become easily overwhelmed.

Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) Continued

Thus, assisting recovering persons to learn the skill of mentalization would correct these problems. Mentalization allows them to self-regulate and self-soothe, enabling them to relate to others in a calmer and secure manner. Mentalization based treatment begins with the development of mentalization based treatment warm and empathic therapeutic alliance.

This provides a context to learn the important skill of mentalization. Learning a new skill is similar to the process of training a muscle, with the therapist serving the role of a coach.

The therapist takes on a fairly active role by encouraging the recovering person to reflect upon present-day interpersonal interactions and relationships.