What is 'mentalization'? How can this concept be applied to clinical work with children, young people and families? What will help therapists working with children and families to 'keep the mind in mind'? Why does it matter if a parent can 'see themselves from the outside, and their child from the inside'?
Minding the Child considers the implications of the concept of mentalization for a range of therapeutic interventions with children and families. Mentalization, and the empirical research which has supported it, now plays a significant role in a range of psychotherapies for adults. In this book we see how these rich ideas about the development of the self and interpersonal relatedness can help to foster the emotional well-being of children and young people in clinical practice and a range of other settings.
With contributions from a range of international experts, the three main sections of the book explore:
• the concept of mentalization from a theoretical and research perspective
• the value of mentalization-based interventions within child mental health services
• the application of mentalizing ideas to work in community settings.
Minding the Child will be of particular interest to clinicians and those working therapeutically with children and families, but it will also be of interest to academics and students interested in child and adolescent mental health, developmental psychology and the study of social cognition.
Table of Contents
Midgley, Vrouva, Introduction. Part I: The Concept of 'Mentalization': Theory and Research. Fonagy, Allison, What is Mentalization? The Concept and its Foundations in Developmental Research. Sharp, Venta, Mentalizing Problems in Children and Adolescents. Vrouva, Target, Ensink, Measuring Mentalizing in Children and Young People. Part II: Clinic-based Interventions. Nijssens, Luyten, Bales, Mentalization-Based Treatment for Parents (MBT-P) with Borderline Personality Disorder and their Infants. Keaveny, Midgley, Asen, Bevington, Fearon, Fonagy, Jennings Hobbs, Wood, Minding the Family Mind: The Development and Initial Evaluation of Mentalization-Based Treatment for Families. Muller, Gerits, Siecker, Mentalization-Based Therapies with Adopted Children and their Families. Rossouw, Self-Harm in Young People: Is MBT the Answer? Part III: Community-based Interventions. Malberg, Thinking and Feeling in the Context of Chronic Illness: A Mentalization-Based Group Intervention with Adolescents. Bevington, Fuggle, Supporting and Enhancing Mentalization in Community Outreach Teams Working with 'Hard-to-Reach' Youth: The AMBIT Approach. Twemlow, Fonagy, Sacco, A Developmental Approach to Mentalizing Communities Through the Peaceful Schools Experiment. Lundgaard Bak, 'Thoughts in Mind': Promoting Mentalizing Communities for Children.
"I recommend this book for readers who enjoy reading about new therapeutic endeavors and the creative re-invention of accepted psychodynamic concepts—in this instance, the concept of mentalization."- Saralea Chazan, Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, June 2013
"The book is imbued with respect for different treatment approaches and persepctives but also for the complexity that often characterizes clinical and preventative work. In the projects described the interventions are often combined with research. This is especially inspiring and makes the book even more valuable. It will be important for researchers and clinicians for a long time to come, as a source of both knowledge and inspiration. In a teaching context the book has a broad area of use. It can be used on specialist courses but can also inspire young people, at the beginning of their careers, to work in this field."- Jan - Olov Karlsson, Psychotherapy Research, May 2013
"This book, which is well argued and illustrated with coherent clinical material, will give readers new to the field a good insight into a developing body of work." - Eileen Aird, Therapy Today, July 2012
"There is much of interest here to the child psychotherapist working with children and adolescents whose limited capacity to tolerate anxiety and frustration gets in the way of thinking and relating... The book is well edited by Nick Midgley and Ioanna Vrouva, with individual chapters referring to each other and building up to a carefully crafted whole." - Neil Austin, ACP Bulletin, Winter 2012
Contributions from an impressive list of the key international researchers in this field. The book is written and edited in a style that constantly flows between theoretical understanding and practice, across different types of problems and settings. Even if practitioners use different approaches (which, in any case, are considered as complementary by several participating authors), they will gain interesting techniques in engaging, assessing and treating young people and families who have not responded to mainstream programmes. They can also use those to challenge and influence community, school and hospital systems; and also their own multidisciplinary team working, as presented in the final part of the manuscript. - Panos Vostanis, Child Adolescent Mental Health, 2013
I found this book to be powerful and thought provoking, to the extent that it pervaded my everyday thinking. ... In the book, MBT is considered a useful tool for all psychotherapists and counsellors working with people of all ages, but it promotes its greatest value as being to those working wih children and their families. Teachers might also find this book useful, especially the chapter on the Peaceful Schools Experiment. I found this book interesting and intriguing. The text is quite academic and would therefore be useful to students of psychology. It took me a while to digest some of the ideas held within it, but I felt it was worth the effort. - Judith Sonnenberg, BACP Children & Young Persons, March 2013
Minding the Child is a considered and diligent book, thoughtfully recording the crystallisation of mentalization-based theory and practice based on the work of Fonagy, Bateman, Allen and other colleagues who form the 'Mentalizing Mafiosi'. ... This interesting and thought-provoking book will, I am sure, fuel further thinking as to how flexible and adaptive the child psychotherapist working in CAMHS setting needs to be, especially in such challenging times as these. - Peter Slater, Journal of Child Psychotherapy, Vol. 39 No. 1 2013
This book offers insight that will be of value to a wide range of practitioners working with children and young people. I found myself underlining numerous sentences and passages that capture the essence of complex ideas with great clarity and then, as I read further, returning to them and finding new depth in them. ... This is a book that anyone with an interest in what enables us to function as relational beings in a social world will find value in. It is also one that stands re-reading as it challenges the reader to reflect on the ideas and evidence it presents. - Roger Catchpole, Young Minds Magazine, 1:19, Spring 2013