Day 2: International Child Trauma Conference 2018
Yesterday I attended Peter Fongy’s masterclass on Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT)
Who is Peter Fonagy?
Peter is a psychologist with special interests in the neurobiology of attachment, working with violent young men and people with personality disorders. He has authored over 300 peer reviewed articles. You can read a short version of Peter’s impressive CV here.
As a psychologist working with children and adolescents, I regularly consult his book What Works for Whom?: A Critical Review of Treatments for Children and Adolescents.
What is mentalisation ?
Mentalisation is the ability to reflect upon and understand one’s own thoughts and feelings and those of others. For example, a parent with a personality disorder may misinterpret a child who is expressing a need or a want as being angry ie they cannot correctly understand their child’s mental state. In the long term this may harm the child because their basic emotional needs are not met.
What type of clients benefit from MBT?
MBT is a therapeutic intervention used, in the main, with people with personality disorders eg narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder etc.
Does MBT have any relevance to Practitioners working OoHC or youth justice?
this therapy unless have been trained in MBT by an accredited organisation.
However, many MBT skills are relevant to foster carers, residential care workers, YJ workers, case managers etc. They provide Practitioners with the opportunity to greatly enhance therapeutic interactions with clients and, importantly, are unlikely to cause harm if used incorrectly. The skills are listed below. Detailed description of the skills can be found here.
|MBT Skill||Is the skill relevant to the work of OoHC & YJ Practitioners?|
|Engagement, interest, warmth and authenticity||Yes|
|Exploration, curiosity and a not knowing stance||Yes|
|Challenging unwarranted beliefs||Possibly|
|Adaptation to mentalizing capacity||No|
|Regulation of arousal||Yes|
|timulating mentalization through the process||No|
|Acknowledging positive mentalizing||Yes|
|Affect and interpersonal events||Yes|
|Stop and rewind||Yes|
|Validation of emotional reactions||Yes|
|Transference and the relation to the therapist||Possibly|
|Use of countertransference||No|
|Monitoring own understanding and correcting misunderstanding||Yes|
|Integrating experiences from concurrent group therapy||No|