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Chapter 1 - A History of Mentalizing and Mentalization-Based Treatment

from Part I - Overview of the Model

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 May 2023

Anthony Bateman
Affiliation:
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, London
Peter Fonagy
Affiliation:
University College London
Chloe Campbell
Affiliation:
University College London
Patrick Luyten
Affiliation:
University College London
Martin Debbané
Affiliation:
University College London
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Summary

Mentalizing or “mind-wondering” is central to social interaction, culture, and morality. In our everyday life we are all philosophers of the mind, wondering what is going on in other people’s heads, and tracking our own thoughts and feelings. Several terms have been used to cover this territory of thinking about thoughts—they include, among others, Theory of Mind, intentionality, and mentalizing. This chapter provides a brief historical account of the emergence and development of the term “mentalizing” from research on Theory of Mind, and its application in clinical practice as mentalization-based treatment (MBT), initially in the context of patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). The chapter also discusses how, in MBT, the focus is on mentalizing as a way of making sense of mental health problems.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Brentano, F. Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint. London, UK: Routledge, 1973/1874.Google Scholar
Dennett, D. The Intentional Stance. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987.Google Scholar
Frith, U. Autism: Explaining the Enigma. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1989.Google Scholar
Fonagy, P. On tolerating mental states: theory of mind in borderline patients. Bull Anna Freud Centre 1989; 12: 91115.Google Scholar
Lieb, K, Zanarini, MC, Schmahl, C et al. Borderline personality disorder. Lancet 2004; 364: 453–61.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Stone, MH. The Fate of Borderline Patients: Successful Outcome and Psychiatric Practice. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1990.Google Scholar

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