Mentalisation and parent-child therapy

Runtime 27:43, Released 28/10/19

Mentalisation and parent-child therapy
Emerging Minds Podcast

00:00 / 27:43

Mentalising is the act of trying to think about what’s happening in people’s minds in order to make sense of their actions. In this episode, host Dom Kleinig talks to Perth-based psychologist, Dr Matthew Ruggiero about mentalising and mentalisation-based therapy (MBT).  Dom and Matt talk about the skill of mentalising; its importance in human relationships; and how its development can strengthen parent-child relationships in situations where they are under strain.

Dr Matt Ruggiero is a Counselling Psychologist in Perth, Australia. He runs MBT for individuals and groups at Lifespan Psychology Centre, with a focus on treating both adolescents with emerging personality disorder and parents/children engaging with Child Protection services. He is lead consultant for the implementation of MBT as a model of practice at the Perth Children’s Hospital Mental Health Inpatient unit as well as teaching and conducting research into developmental psychology at Curtin University.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What is mentalising and how is it different to things like empathy? (01:52)
  • Marked mirroring as a building block for developing secure parent-infant relationships (06:13)
  • The importance of self-determination in the therapeutic process (14:08)
  • How to look beyond behaviour to see what’s going on underneath (24:36)


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