Mentalization Based Treatment: clinical implementation in daily practice

In this seminar Anthony Bateman will illustrate the main strategies and techniques of MBT, after proposing a review of the theoretical assumptions, namely the concept of mentalization and an indication of developmental theories that lead to mentalization, showing us how to solicit in clinical practice the development of these strategies, with role-playing exercises and examples from clinical cases.

Mentalization is the process by which, implicitly or explicitly, we interpret our own actions and those of others as meaningful, based on intentional mental states (e.g., desires, needs, emotions, beliefs, and motives). This ability develops in childhood in the context of attachment relationships. The development of mentalization and possible developments when attachment relationships are insecure will be discussed. In adulthood, persons with personality disorders exhibit distinct problems in mentalization caused by a complex interaction between constitutional factors and attachment processes in childhood. This understanding of personality disorder guides mentalization-based treatment (MBT), which specifically aims to identify difficulties in mentalizing and to improve a person's ability to mentalize in the interactive emotional process. All psychotherapies improve mentalization in some way, but only MBT targets this process. Some clinical skills used to improve the process of mentalization will be described, and how to integrate these techniques into teamwork in daily clinical practice will be explained. In addition, this seminar will address MBT as a specific, manualized treatment. MBT is an evidence-based treatment for personality disorder, and has been studied in the treatment of a range of disorders, including antisocial personality disorder, drug addiction, eating disorder, trauma, and depression, and has been applied in a variety of settings (e.g., with adolescents who self-harm in school, prison, and family). The most important interventions of the clinical model through declinations in some disorders (antisocial personality disorder, drug addiction, eating disorder, and trauma) will be discussed.


Learning Objectives

  • Define and elaborate on mentalization as a theoretical and clinical concept
  • Understand the difficulties in mentalization in personality disorders
  • Recognize the process of mentalization and non-mentalization
  • Identify interventions to develop mentalization and useful techniques for daily practice
  • Outline declinations of MBT for Antisocial Personality Disorder, Eating Disorders, Substance Abuse Disorder, and Complex Trauma


  • 1 seminar of 4 hours.
  • Video lessons in original language
  • Slides
Mentalization Based Treatment: clinical implementation in daily practice
Anthony Bateman
Durata Modulo
4h 00m
Anthony Bateman
Prof. Anthony W Bateman MA, FRCPsych, is a consultant at the Anna Freud Centre, London; Invited Professor at University College, London; Honorary Professor in Psychotherapy at the University of Copenhagen. He developed mentalization-based treatment with Peter Fonagy for borderline personality… continua
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