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Chazan, S. (2017). Mentalization-Based Treatment for Children: A Time-Limited Approach by Nick Midgley, Karen Ensink, Karin Lindqvist, Norka Malberg, and Nicole Muller. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 16(4):308-311.

(2017). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 16(4):308-311

Book Review

Mentalization-Based Treatment for Children: A Time-Limited Approach by Nick Midgley, Karen Ensink, Karin Lindqvist, Norka Malberg, and Nicole Muller

Saralea Chazan, Ph.D.

Mentalization-based treatment for adults (MBT-PD) evolved out of the treatment of adult personality disorders (Bateman & Fonagy, 2016). The purpose of this book is to extend MBT-PD to therapeutic work with children (MBT-C). The group of authors assembled is extremely accomplished and represents a global quorum of esteemed professionals. The book is organized as a manual for the short-term-focused treatment of school-age children (roughly ages 5–12 years) drawing from psychodynamic principles, affect regulation theory, attachment theory, family therapy, and the empirical theory of mentalization. MBT-C aims to both increase the child’s capacity for self-regulation and support parents to provide for the emotional needs of their children (Fonagy & Allison, 2012).

The basic MBT-C time-limited model is 12 individual sessions. It is possible to offer up to three blocks of 12 MBT-C sessions (to a maximum of 36 sessions) based on a review process with parents and the child. In these cases, the treatment is never open-ended but continues to be time-limited, with a clear focus and aims. These procedural points flow from two central theoretical assumptions underlying the construct of mentalization: 1) the view that psychopathology in adults corresponds to derailment of normal development in children, and 2) the process of mentalization is an umbrella-term consolidating normal developmental processes (psychodynamic integration, affect regulation, attachment, symbolic

[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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