Putting Mentalization in Motion: Practical Application to Eating Disorder Treatment

Saturday, March 5, 2011: 2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Point Hilton at Squaw Peak
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

Malnutrition, trauma, disorganized attachment, dissociation, irrationality, resistance, fear and ambivalence are just a few of the issues therapists face every day as they work with clients with eating disorders.  Making sense of a patient with alexithymia, dysaffectation, mood lability, impulsiveness or acting out behaviors is challenging, even more so when one patient can demonstrate each of these from day to day, or even worse, from minute to minute?  What is a therapist to do?  Mentalize.  This workshop uses an interactive and experiential format to teach and demonstrate interventions to promote mentalization.   Mentalization Based Treatment is the second evidence based therapy for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder and is extremely useful in the treatment of eating disorders.  Mentalization, as described by Fonagy and Bateman, is the process by which we implicitly and explicitly interpret behaviors on the basis of intentional mental states such as desires, beliefs and feelings.  This capacity is largely based on attachment relationships and the developmental process – processes frequently disrupted in this population of patients.  Therapists with an understanding of mentalization and its concepts are better trained to assist the patient in this process of keeping the “mind in mind.”  Attendees will learn and participate in experiential activities, group interventions, games and a video presentation.  Handouts will provide examples of lesson plans, sample questions, and games to facilitate individual and group sessions.  Finally, audience members will have an opportunity for a question and answer session.
Primary Presenter:
Jeffrey Mar, MD, FAAP, CEDS

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.

Theresa Fassihi, Ph.D.

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.

See more of: Proposals