Mentalization-Based Treatment

What is Mentalization-Based Treatment?

Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) helps people with long-term emotional distress and difficulties in managing their relationship with others. Occasionally, stress management becomes difficult or things happen that make them feel uncomfortable. People find it difficult to work out what they or others are thinking and feeling. Individuals who have had a difficult start in life or have poor emotional health may find it even harder to do this.  MBT improves peoples understanding of their thoughts and feelings, including how and why people react to them in certain ways.

How does MBT work?

The programme is 18 months long and there are two programme options. The first is a once a week MBT programme and the second is a twice a week combination of MBT and skills training based on Dialetical Behaviour Therapy. Group members will have a two week break over Christmas and New Year and there are options to pre-agree other short holidays. Members can also opt to end treatment early.

MBT is delivered in groups and is supplemented by individual sessions. Group sessions are a chance to learn from others and hear how they try and cope with difficulties and to understand one's own thoughts and feelings and the reaction other people give to them. It is likely, that people may experience strong feelings during group sessions and not understand why they had them. Other group members and group facilitators help one another to work out where the feelings came from.

People will experience thoughts about each other and vice versa. Knowing what other think can help to make one understand themselves better. An individual may experience distress based on what they hear, however, this recreates instances that happen outside the group treatment in an environment where they can be better understood. 

MBT is not a quick fix solution. Someone may find it hard to express their feelings and deal with responses. This is normal. People will have good and bad days. It is important to go through the whole treatments as only then will the benefits be seen.

What happens after treatment?

Once the treatment programme is completed, people will be offered a limited out=service follow up for a year before they are discharged back to primary care services. Throughout this period, people are offered individual sessions under CPA or Lead Professional Care to support therapy, monitor treatment progress and provide help with occupational and social problems. The Team Psychiatrist provides medical input during these treatment programmes.