Mentalization is a therapeutic approach that can help people suffering with mental health struggles. In addition, mentalization-based therapy (MBT) is helpful in treating teens and adults for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and eating disorders.

What Is Mentalization?

Mentalization-based therapy helps a person identify and understand emotions. In addition, it helps one understand the emotions of others. Thus, mentalizing refers to the intuitive process that reflects one’s sense of self. In other words, it helps one consciously perceive and understand their inner world. Furthermore, MBT therapy can help an individual foster positive connections with others. Hence this is through the development of social skills.

Mentalization is effective with hard-to-treat borderline personality disorders. Consequently, this is because people with BPD cannot picture and understand their autonomous selves. Therefore, this lack of personality definition leads to a sense of emptiness. In addition, it encourages over-attachment to others and difficulty empathizing. Furthermore, BPD can be characterized when one can’t recognize the inner lives of others. However, through MBT therapy, people with challenging mental conditions access long-term recovery.

The process of mentalizing is informed by psychodynamic therapy. Hence, this raises awareness of unconscious processes, and motivational interviewing. This empowers the individual. Additionally, MBT therapy and the term “mentalization” originated at the Ecole Psychosomatique de Paris in the 1970s. Originally, MBT therapy was developed to address and repair attachment-related childhood trauma. As a result, it is often helpful for younger populations.

If you or someone you love needs support, contact us. We are here to help.
Learn more about the Newport Academy approach.

Sources: World Psychiatric Association (NLM-NIH)Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services AdministrationNational Alliance on Mental Illness

Related Resources


Reading Time: 8 minutes Teenager borderline personality disorder symptoms can be confusing, frustrating, and hard for both teens and their loved ones to understand. Because a teen’s personality is still developing at their age, […]

Read More

Newport Academy Empowering Teens Resources Coping Skills Socializing Substance Use Hero

Reading Time: 7 minutes How to Help Teens Build Social Connections Most of us have a few cringe-worthy memories from our awkward teenage years. Adolescence is often a time when socializing is particularly challenging. […]

Read More

Newport Academy Treatment Resources: Teen Mental Health Treatment Borderline Personality Disorder

Reading Time: 2 minutes Borderline Personality Disorder in teens is common. In addition, it is a serious mental health issue facing teens. Hence, we need to know how to help. Symptoms of Borderline Personality […]

Read More