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Sandberg, L. Busch, F. (2017). The role of the mother's mental state in mentalizing homeostasis: Commentary on “Mentalizing Homeostasis” by Fotopoulou & Tsakiris. Neuropsychoanalysis, 19(1):49-53.

(2017). Neuropsychoanalysis, 19(1):49-53

The role of the mother's mental state in mentalizing homeostasis: Commentary on “Mentalizing Homeostasis” by Fotopoulou & Tsakiris

Larry Sandberg and Fred Busch

Fotopoulou and Tsakiris both extend and narrow the concept of mentalization. Its meaning is broadened through the concept of homeostatic mentalization highlighting the crucial function of the mother's bodily interaction in supporting basic, life preservative functions. However, they problematically argue the mother's mental state is minimally relevant to this more primal function. The absence of elements pertinent to a psychoanalytic perspective in the research the authors review contributes to minimizing this factor. We suggest, relying on psychoanalytic conceptualizations, that the mother's mental state is critical in how she serves a homeostatic function for her infant. Considering Bick's ‘skin container' and Winnicott's notion of ‘illusion' offers the potential for useful dialogue. We close by applying the authors' work to panic disorder to illustrate the utility of the authors' contribution.

[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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