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Fonagy, P, Allison, E., The role of mentalizing and epistemic trust in the therapeutic relationship.
Psychotherapy, 51(3), 372–380, 2014


Mentalizing—the capacity to understand others’ and one’s own behavior in terms of mental states—is a defining human social and psychological achievement. It involves a complex and demanding spectrum of capacities that are susceptible to different strengths, weakness and failings; personality disorders (PDs) are often associated with severe and consistent mentalizing difficulties (Fonagy & Bateman, 2008). In this paper we will argue for the role of mentalizing in the therapeutic relationship, suggesting that although Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) may be a specific and particular form of practice, the “mentalizing therapist” is a universal constituent of effective psychotherapeutic interventions.

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