Case formulations in mentalization-based group therapy

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Sigmund Karterud *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Sigmund Karterud | wkarteru@online.no

Abstract

Ideally, the assessment phase of patients who are referred to mentalization-based treatment (MBT) should conclude with a mentalization- based case formulation. The structure and content of such case formulations are described. Their aim are: i) to enhance treatment alliance and ii) to provide some structure to the treatment process through suggesting privileged themes related to emotions, relational patterns and mentalizing. MBT is a conjoint kind of psychotherapy, integrating individual and group therapies. Case formulations has belonged to the tradition of individual psychotherapy, while being mostly ignored by group therapists. The question is: are case formulations also relevant for group psychotherapy? How can they be properly introduced while not disturbing the group processes? The theme is discussed through a clinical vignette that illuminates typical therapeutic challenges in dynamic group psychotherapy with borderline patients. The author concludes with some suggestions for clinical structure, process and research.


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