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Malberg, N.T. Stafler, N. Geater, E. (2012). Putting the Pieces of the Puzzle Together: A Mentalization-Based Approach to Early Intervention in Primary Schools. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 11(3):190-204.

(2012). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 11(3):190-204

Putting the Pieces of the Puzzle Together: A Mentalization-Based Approach to Early Intervention in Primary Schools

Norka T. Malberg, Natalia Stafler and Ellie Geater

An integrative psychotherapeutic approach which aimed to reduce the number of early school suspensions in children ages 3–7 is described. The Primary Years Project, a collaborative effort between the Anna Freud Centre and five public primary schools in London, England, seek to provide a comprehensive approach to early emotional and behavioral difficulties within the school environment. Several modalities of treatment were developed in order to accommodate the needs of young children and their caregivers. A vital component of the project was the emphasis on involvement and support of school personnel during the process of referral, assessment and intervention. A developmental psychodynamic approach framed all interventions with an emphasis on providing an ego strengthening experience. The use of the psychotherapist as a new developmental object was vital for the application of mentalization based interventions with children, parents and teachers. By focusing on the relational dynamics in the context of children's challenging behaviors, the project seek to activate participants' reflective functioning, thus promoting a more collaborative and mentalizing system around the child.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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