Commentary on chapter 7 [Mentalization-based couple therapy]

Ruszczynski, Stanley (2018) Commentary on chapter 7 [Mentalization-based couple therapy]. In: Engaging couples: New directions in therapeutic work with families. Routledge, London. ISBN 9780367000042

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Psychoanalytic practice suggests that what is required is for the clinician to tolerate their countertransference experience, giving the patient the opportunity to be in the presence of an object that can contain and reflect on disturbing mental states. Much practice in mentalization-based treatment (MBT) is based on this understanding and, together with an equivalent approach in the traditional psychoanalytic practice, gives the patient the experience of being understood, rather than prematurely being expected to understand themselves. The mutual emotional experience of the clinical encounter between patient and therapist, referred to technically as the transference–countertransference relationship, is of course informed in some part by the internal world of the therapist. Both a psychoanalytic approach and an MBT approach are challenged to contain and mentalize two disturbed and disturbing minds, unconsciously organised to recreate in others, partner and therapist, toxic and disturbed mental states.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Couple & Family Therapies > Couple/Marital Therapy
Department/People: Adult and Forensic Services

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