Mclean Hospital

Mentalization-Based Treatment for Adolescents (MBT-A) Workshop Course Description

Continuing Education Offering: May 2-3, 2019

One of the most promising empirically supported therapies in the treatment of borderline personality disorder in adolescents is mentalization-based treatment for adolescents (MBT-A), developed by Drs. Anthony Bateman, Peter Fonagy, and Trudie Rossouw. A well-powered, randomized control trial of MBT-A showed significant improvement in self-harm, depressive symptoms, and emerging BPD traits in comparison to treatment as usual (Rossouw & Fonagy, 2012). MBT was developed based on studies of early childhood development and attachment. In this course, participants will learn how to implement MBT-A techniques within their clinical practice as a specialist treatment for young people diagnosed with or developing BPD.

Common clinical situations are discussed and ‘role played’ to practice skills. MBT requires therapists to focus on the patient’s mental state and on their understanding of interactions with the patient. The therapist stance is of particular importance and differs from the usual therapist stance encountered in psychodynamic and cognitive therapies. It is more active and participatory than dynamic therapy but less specifically so than cognitive therapy, and not only focuses on the mind of the patient but also openly juxtaposes the mind of the therapist with that of the patient/family. Importantly the therapist takes a ‘not knowing’ stance and yet explicitly develops with the patient or family alternative perspectives about what is happening. The course considers techniques, such as clarification, challenge, and basic mentalizing in the context of some of the common clinical situations encountered in treatment with patients.

This workshop will equip participants to understand:

  • How mentalizing handicaps derive from early parent-child interactions
  • How mentalizing failures reflect and cause insecure attachments
  • How psychotherapeutic interventions are efforts to correct mentalizing and attachment handicaps

Date: Thursday, May 2-Friday, May 3, 2019
Location: The Conference Center at Waltham Woods, Waltham, MA
Tuition Fee: $700 (excluding online training) or $800 (including online training)
Provided by: Borderline Personality Disorder Training Institute, McLean Hospital; Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families
CME Credits: 12.5
Course Director: Lois W. Choi-Kain, MD, MEd
Faculty: Lois W. Choi-Kain, MD, MEd; Peter Fonagy, PhD; Trudie Rossouw, MD
Prerequisites: Online training is strongly encouraged


Target Audience

Physicians, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, and other licensed mental health counselors.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss adolescent brain development
  • Identify non-mentalizing, and differentiate it from mentalizing
  • Practice a not-knowing therapeutic stance
  • Intervene when non-mentalizing cognition is present
  • Apply basic mentalizing skills of empathy, clarification, challenge, affect focus, stop and stand, rewind; managing arousal of an activated hypersensitive attachment system; mentalizing the transference, including working with counter-transference


Thursday, May 2, 2019

  • 7:45-8:15am – Registration and Continental Breakfast
  • 8:15-9:30am – Outline of Training: Introduction to Mentalizing and the Adolescent Brain
  • 9:30-9:45am – Break
  • 9:45-11:45am – Principles & General Techniques of Mentalization Based Treatment for Adolescents
  • 11:45-12:30am – Mentalization-Based Treatment for Adolescents: Setting the Context
  • 12:30-1:30pm – Lunch (provided)
  • 1:30-2:15pm – Mentalization Based Treatment for Adolescents: Setting the Context (continued)
  • 2:15-2:30pm – Break
  • 2:30-4:15pm – Basic Therapist Stance: Role Play
  • 4:15-5:30pm – MBT-A: Principles of Service Organization and Treatment Pathways

Friday, May 3, 2019

  • 8:00-9:00am – Continental Breakfast
  • 9:00-10:00am – Early Issues in Treatment, Formulation, and Assessment of Mentalizing Class Exercise
  • 10:00-10:15am – Break
  • 10:30-11:30am – Working with Adolescents: Case Studies
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – General Principles of Interventions and Spectrums of Interventions
  • 12:30-1:30pm – Lunch (provided)
  • 1:30-2:00pm – General Principles of Interventions and Spectrums of Interventions (continued)
  • 2:00-2:15pm – Break
  • 2:15-4:00pm – Integrating Mentalization: Based Work with Adolescents and Families

Faculty Information

  • Lois W. Choi-Kain, MD, MEd, Director, Adult Borderline Center and Training Institute; Director, Gunderson Residence, McLean Hospital; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Peter Fonagy, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Anna Freud Centre, London; Head of Department, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine; Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Trudie Rossouw, MD, Consultant, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist; Associate Director for Children’s Services, North East London NHS Foundation Trust

Continuing Education


McLean Hospital is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. McLean Hospital designates this educational activity for a maximum of 12.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


McLean Hospital is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. McLean Hospital maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Participants meeting requirements will receive 12.5 CE credits.


This program meets the requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (244 CMR 5.00) for 12.5 contact hours of nursing continuing education credit. Advance practice nurses, please note: educational activities which meet the requirements of the ACCME (such as this activity) count toward 50% of the nursing requirement for ANCC accreditation.

Social Workers

Application for social work continuing education credits has been submitted. Please contact the McLean Hospital Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at 617.855.3195 for the status of social work CE accreditation.

Licensed Mental Health Counselors

McLean Hospital has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6085. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. McLean Hospital is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This offering meets the requirements for up to 12.5 NBCC hours.

Disclosure Policy

Harvard Medical School (HMS) adheres to all ACCME Essential Areas, Standards, and Policies. It is HMS’s policy that those who have influenced the content of a CME activity (e.g., planners, faculty, authors, reviewers, and others) disclose all relevant financial relationships with commercial entities so that HMS may identify and resolve any conflicts of interest prior to the activity. These disclosures will be provided in the activity materials along with disclosure of any commercial support received for the activity. Additionally, faculty members have been instructed to disclose any limitations of data and unlabeled or investigational uses of products during their presentations

Refund Policy

Due to the small nature of our trainings, the BPD Training Institute cannot offer any refunds. If the participant is unable to attend, they may send a substitute attendee.