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Handbook of Mentalizing in Mental Health Practice

Handbook of Mentalizing in Mental Health Practice

Edited by Anthony W. Bateman, M.A., FRCPsych, and Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., F.B.A.
2012
617 pages
ISBN 978-1-58562-971-8
eBook Also Available In: Paperback
Item #62971



Mentalization-based therapy is a specific type of psychotherapy designed to help people consider their own thoughts and feelings and differentiate them from the perspectives of others. The editors are the foremost experts on mentalizing, having published two previous books and a multitude of scholarly papers defining it and describing its multiple clinical applications. Handbook of Mentalizing in Mental Health Practice is by far the most cutting-edge, comprehensive source of information and instruction on this critical therapeutic technique, with everything clinicians need to know to integrate mentalizing into their therapeutic repertoire.

The editors maintain that the aim of mentalizing therapy is to enhance a mentalizing process, regardless of the context in which it is being delivered. Thus, while most often employed in individual therapy, it can also be useful in group and family therapy situations. Similarly, it may prove equally effective in inpatient and outpatient contexts, and in standard and brief therapy modes. What is critical is the therapist’s focus on the patient’s “mind-mindedness” as it applies to his or her subjective experience of reality and to awareness of other people’s perspectives. Here are some of the key observations made in this fascinating book:


  • Evidence suggests that people who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder may have specific deficits in mentalizing in the context of attachment relationships, and that this group transcends the classification of borderline personality disorder (BPD), which the authors had previously identified with such deficits. This has profound implications for treatment of all types of personality disorders.
  • The authors now see mentalizing as a developmental construct that is extended to the family and throughout an individual’s development. This insight suggests that intervention—and even prevention of deficits—may be possible.
  • Because mentalizing is a fundamental psychological process, it interfaces with all major mental disorders. This means that mentalizing techniques may have the potential to improve well-being across a range of disorders, including depression, eating disorders, addiction, and even the less severe forms of antisocial personality disorder.
  • Adolescence, the phase of development where personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, and other disorders first emerge, is a critical period for identification of mentalizing deficits and the time when intervention can do enormous good.

These insights are tremendously useful for any practitioner of psychotherapy, as well as students in the field. Exhaustive in its coverage of the nature, practice, and exciting potential of this relatively new approach, Handbook of Mentalizing in Mental Health Practice is destined to become a classic in the literature of psychotherapy.

Part I: Clinical Practice. Introduction and overview. Assessment of mentalization. Individual techniques of the basic model. Group therapy techniques. Mentalization-based family therapy. Mentalization-informed child psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Brief treatment. Partial hospitalization settings. Outpatient settings. Psychodynamically oriented therapeutic settings. Part II: Specific Applications. Borderline personality disorder. Antisocial personality disorder. At-risk mothers of infants and toddlers. Eating disorders. Depression. Trauma. Drug addiction. Adolescent breakdown and emerging borderline personality disorder. Glossary. References. Index.

"Bateman and Fonagy’s Handbook of Mentalizing in Mental Health Practice offers a scholarly, clinically vivid and intellectually engaging treat for its readers. It adds specificity to the interventions of mentalization-based treatment and expands its application into new treatment settings, such as hospitals and brief treatments, and new patient populations, such as depressed patients and children. This book will be valuable reading for all mental health professionals who want to enrich their clinical practices and their understanding of processes of change."—John Gunderson, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Director, BPD Center for Treatment, Research and Training, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA


"This is a remarkable book, a ‘must read’ for anyone looking to bring the mentalizing approach into clinical practice. In this tour de force, Bateman and Fonagy offer us a brilliantly crafted and enormously useful guide to applying the principles of mentalization-based therapy in diverse settings and with diverse populations. Rich with clinical wisdom, science, theory, and deep humanity, this volume is sure to be an instant classic for beginning and experienced practitioners alike."—Arietta Slade, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Psychology, The City College and Graduate Center, the City University of New York; Visiting Research Scientist, Yale Child Study Center


"Though I was familiar with the concept, this book expanded my knowledge and understanding of how and where mentalizing could be used.The writing is clear and not overly technical or verbose, and the instructions for the application of mentalizing are direct and practical. I would highly recommend this book for clinicians interested in learning about and/or using mentalizing in their practice."—Brett C. Plyler, M.D., Doody Enterprises, 8/1/2012

Jon G. Allen, Ph.D.
Eia Asen, M.D., F.R.C.Psych.
Dawn Bales, M.Sc.
Anthony W. Bateman, M.A., F.R.C.Psych.
Efrain Bleiberg, M.D.
Cindy DeCoste, M.S.
Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., F.B.A.
Catherine Freeman, M.A.
Ulla Kahn
Mirjam Kalland, Ph.D.
Sigmund Karterud, M.D., Ph.D.
Morten Kjolbye, M.D.
Alessandra Lemma, B.Sc., M.A., M.Phil. (Cantab.), D.Clin.Psych.
Benedicte Lowyck, Ph.D.
Patrick Luyten, Ph.D.
Linda Mayes, M.D.
Flynn O�Malley, Ph.D.
Marjukka Pajulo, M.D., Ph.D.
Bj�rn Philips, Ph.D.
Trudie Rossouw, M.B.Ch.B., F.F.Psych.
Finn Sk�rderud, Prof. Dr. Med.
Nancy Suchman, Ph.D.
Mary Target, Ph.D.
Bart Vandeneede, M.A.
Annelies Verheugt-Pleiter, M.Psych.
Rudi Vermote, M.D., Ph.D.
Jolien Zevalkink, Ph.D.

Anthony W. Bateman, M.A., F.R.C.Psych., is Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy, Halliwick Unit, St. Ann’s Hospital, Barnet, Enfield, and Haringey Mental Health Trust; Visiting Professor, University College London.

Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., F.B.A., is Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis and Director of the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at University College London; Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, London; and Consultant to the Child and Family Program at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Baylor College of Medicine.