Putting Mentalization in Motion: Practical Application to Eating Disorder Treatment

IAEDP Symposium 2011

About the Course:

Webinar from the 2011 International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Symposium.

In this session, participants will learn the application of Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) to eating disorders. Mentalization, the innate capacity to perceive and interpet the behaviors of self and other, is severely compromised in eating disordered patients. Following last year’s symposium workshop on the theoretical foundation of MBT, this session will focus on implementing mentalization in your clinical practice and will include short case presentations as well as demonstrations of group activities and games that enhance mentalization. Come learn mentalization interventions that add to your therapeutic skill set and your patient’s recovery.

Using mentalization techniques in eating disorder treatment

* Defining mentalizing – attachment basis * Providing a rationale for its use – idea of self objectification * Emphasizing the importance of integrating with current treatment protocol * Implementing mentalization in the therapeutic setting (Outpatient, IOP, PHP, Residential)

Key concepts for eating disorder treatment (Including video examples)

* Pretend mode * Psychic equivalence * Teleologic mode * Pseudo and concrete mentalization

Encouraging exploration of the mind (Toolbox)

* Psychoeducation * Therapeutic alliance * Compass * Pacing

Basic strategies for promoting mentalizing and applying in individual and group sessions

* Enhancing mentalization * Bridging the gaps * Transference * Retaining mental closeness * Working with current mental states * Bearing in mind the deficits * Real relationships

Experiential activities to promote mentalizing (Interactive with participants)

* Therapeutic games * Therapeutic art * Therapeutic music * Video review with clients * Role playing

Discussion/Question and Answer

Note: For this course there is a small additional fee to obtain the webinar. Please see the “Get Course Materials” link in the right sidebar for details.


Jeffrey Mar, MD, FAAP, CEDS (presenter); Theresa Fassihi, Ph.D. (presenter)

About the Authors:

Jeffrey Mar attended Stanford University, receiving a BA in Human Biology with a focus in Ethics and Policy of Health Care, then earned an MD at Dartmouth Medical School, followed by the Triple Board Residency (Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) at the University of Utah. Currently, he is the Medical Director of Valenta Inc, an Eating Disorder clinic. Dr. Mar specializes in the treatment of trauma in eating disorders, particularly attachment and developmental trauma. He interacts with patients daily and is involved in clinical research and supervision. Dr. Mar is a therapist who also manages medication.

Dr. Theresa Fassihi is the clinical psychologist with the Eating Disorders Program at The Menninger Clinic. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her Ph.D. from the University of Tulsa. She uses an integrative treatment approach that includes dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and mentalizing, with a special interest in treating body image disturbance. She is conducting research on the benefit of positive psychology interventions for inpatients. She is currently developing a web-based assessment battery for assessing long-term outcomes in patients. She makes presentations regularly on treatment of eating disorders.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, therapists, and counselors who seek to update their research knowledge and competency in treating patients with eating disorders, increase and acquire new skills, learn new intervention strategies, and obtain continuing education credits. It is appropriate for professionals at all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize, and explain the application of core concepts of mentalization based therapy in the treatment of eating disorders.

  2. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize, and explain a method to implement mentalization therapy techniques in clinical sessions.

  3. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize, and explain specific therapeutic interventions and activities that promote mentalization and recovery from an eating disorder.

Exam Questions

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