Peter Fonagy

  • Mentalizing - the ability to understand oneself and others by inferring mental states that lie behind overt behaviour - develops within the context of attachment relationships. It is crucial to self-regulation and constructive, intimate relationships, both of which are impaired in personality disorders because of sensitivity to losing mentalizing at times of anxiety and attachment stress. Loss of mentalizing leads to interpersonal and social problems, emotional
    variability, impulsivity, self-destructive behaviours, and violence.

    This practical guide on mentalization-based treatment (MBT) of personality disorders outlines the mentalizing model of borderline and antisocial personality disorders and how it translates into clinical treatment. The book, divided into four parts - the mentalizing framework, basic mentalizing practice, mentalizing and groups, and mentalizing systems - covers the aims and structure of treatment, outlines how patients are introduced to the mentalizing model so that their personality disorder
    makes sense to them, explains why certain interventions are recommended and others are discouraged, and systematically describes the process of treatment in both group and individual therapy to support more stable mentalizing.

    People with personality disorders commonly have comorbid mental health problems, such as depression and eating disorders, which complicate clinical treatment. Therefore, the book advises the clinician on how to manage comorbidity in treatment. In addition, mentalizing problems in families and social systems, for example, schools and mental health services are also covered. A families and carers training and support guide is provided as families and others are often neglected during the
    treatment of people with personality disorder.

    The book is a valuable guide for all mental health workers on how to effectively treat personality disorders.

  • Pioneering research has been carried out over the last decade on mentalization and the promotion of mentalizing capacity - the ability to interpret the behavior of oneself and others as based on intentional mental states, such as needs, desires, feelings, and beliefs. This book is a consolidation of current knowledge and clinical applications, bringing together a group of international experts who have been on the ground floor of theory and research to clarify the concept, review pertinent neurobiological and psychosocial research, and explore its diverse clinical applications. Four sections will cover Conceptual Foundations, Developmental Psychopathology, Intervention and Prevention. A biopsychosocial approach will be used, integrating new research in neuroimaging with psychodynamic and cognitive perspectives. Clinical issues covered will include parent-child interactions, personality disorders, traumatic brain injury, bullying and at-risk children.

  • Social inequality and social disadvantage provide an all too fertile soil that sustains the majority of the serious mental health problems suffered by children in our society. The complexity of the issues clinicians routinely encounter in working with children with mental health problems is widely acknowledged. However, few books concern themselves with how such difficult populations can be effectively approached and the strategies that are likely to deliver effective treatment to them. This book, based on a highly successful seminar for grant-giving children's charities held at the Anna Freud Centre and sponsored by John Lyon's Charity, provides pragmatic solutions to this major therapeutic challenge of our age. The chapters bridge statutory and voluntary initiatives and are held firmly together by the commitment to evidence-based, systematically offered, programmatic and innovative approaches that can help those who, although hard to reach, are in greatest need of our efforts: the socially excluded children and families in our society. As such, this book will be invaluable to psychologists, psychotherapists, counselors and family therapists.

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