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Chapter 31. Mentalizing in Psychotherapy

Jon Allen, Ph.D.; Peter Fonagy, O.B.E., Ph.D., F.B.A.
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585625031.313655

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Excerpt

We define mentalizing technically as the natural human imaginative capacity to perceive and interpret behavior in self and others as conjoined with intentional mental states, such as desires, motives, feelings, and beliefs. In plain language, we characterize mentalizing as attentiveness to thinking and feeling in self and others—or, in shorthand, as holding mind in mind.

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Facets of mentalizing
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Hallmarks of skillful mentalizing
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Relations between mindfulness and mentalizing
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Overview of natural pedagogy
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Threefold liability associated with attachment trauma
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Prementalizing modes of experience
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Common features of effective treatments for borderline personality disorder

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