Chapter 28. Theory and Practice of Mentalization-Based Therapy

Anthony Bateman, M.A., F.R.C.Psych.; Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., F.B.A.; Jon G. Allen, Ph.D.
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585623648.376093



Mentalization, or better mentalizing, is the process by which we make sense of each other and ourselves, implicitly and explicitly, in terms of subjective states and mental processes. It is a profoundly social construct in the sense that we are attentive to the mental states of those we are with, physically or psychologically. Equally we can temporarily lose awareness of those individuals as "minds" and even momentarily treat them as physical objects (Allen et al. 2008).

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Figure 28–1. Levels of mentalizing intervention indicating surface and depth.Therapists are recommended to link level with patient's emotional intensity and mentalizing capacity.


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