Mclean Hospital

Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT): Basic Training Course Description

Continuing Education Offering: May 2-4, 2019

One of the most promising empirically supported therapies in the treatment of borderline personality disorder is mentalization-based treatment (MBT), developed by Drs. Anthony Bateman and Peter Fonagy. MBT was developed based on studies of early childhood development and attachment. In this course, participants will learn how to implement MBT techniques within their clinical practice as a specialist treatment.

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. It shares some components with systemic family therapy but has different aims. Importantly the therapist takes a ‘not knowing’ stance and yet explicitly develops with the patient or family alternative perspectives about what is happening. Participants will learn how to use their own experiences of the patient as a way of increasing mentalizing within therapeutic encounters. 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 & attachment handicaps

Date: Thursday, May 2-Saturday, May 4, 2019
Location: The Conference Center at Waltham Woods, Waltham, MA
Tuition Fee: $1100 (including the online training) or $1000 (excluding the online training)
Provided by: Borderline Personality Disorder Training Institute, McLean Hospital; Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families
CME Credits: 17.5
Course Director: Lois W. Choi-Kain, MD, MEd
Faculty: Anthony Bateman, MA, FRCPsych; Peter Fonagy, PhD; and Brandon Unruh, MD
Prerequisites: Online training is strongly encouraged


Target Audience

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

Educational Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the mentalizing problems of BPD
  • Recognize mentalizing and non-mentalizing interventions
  • Develop and maintain a mentalizing therapeutic stance
  • Use basic mentalizing techniques in their everyday clinical work in group and individual psychotherapy


Thursday, May 2, 2019

  • 8:00-9:00a – Registration and breakfast
  • 9:00-10:15am – Introduction and orientation to mentalizing
  • 10:15-10:30am – Break
  • 10:30-11:30am – Theoretic basis of mentalizing: attachment, neurobiology, and psychology
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – Mentalizing and borderline personality disorder
  • 12:30-1:30pm – Lunch (provided)
  • 1:30-2:00pm – Therapist stance
  • 2:00-2:30pm – Video of therapist stance and discussion
  • 2:30-3:10pm – Demonstration in front of large group; Role play: patient talks about incident in his life
  • 3:10-3:40pm – Break
  • 3:40-5:00pm – Therapist stance; Feedback; Role play: patient has gotten into an argument at work and been suspended

Friday, May 3, 2019

  • 8:00-9:00am – Breakfast
  • 9:00-9:45am – Structure of MBT; Development of crisis plans and risk assessment; Treatment programs
  • 9:45-10:15am – Role play (in large group): patient calls in emotional crisis
  • 10:15-10:30am – Break
  • 10:30am-12:15pm – Basic mentalizing: clarification, exploration, challenge, affect focus; Role play: patient has been shouting at staff
  • 12:15-1:15pm – Lunch
  • 1:15-2:30pm – Basic mentalizing: clarification, exploration, challenge, affect focus; Role play: patient wants another therapist
  • 2:30-3:00pm – Break
  • 3:00-5:00pm – Mentalization and self-harm; Role play: patient reports self-harm

Saturday, May 4, 2019

  • 8:00-9:00am – Breakfast
  • 9:00-10:30am – Mentalizing the transference and countertransference; Role play: patient tells you she was angry and shouted at her child, she knows that you were appalled by her
  • 10:30-11:00am – Break
  • 11:00am-12:30pm – Introductory group and MBT group
  • 12:30-1:30pm – Lunch
  • 1:30-2:30pm – Role play: MBT group
  • 2:30-3:00pm – Break
  • 3:00-4:00pm – Adherence scale; Questions and discussion

Faculty Information

  • Anthony W. Bateman, MA, FRCPsych. MBT Training Coordinator and Consultant, Anna Freud Centre, London; Visiting Professor, University College, London; Visiting Professor in Psychotherapy, Copenhagen University, Denmark
  • 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
  • Brandon Unruh, MD, Medical Director, McLean Hospital Mentalization Clinic, Assistant Medical Director, Gunderson Residence, McLean Hospital; Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

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 17.5 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 17.5 CE credits.


This program meets the requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (244 CMR 5.00) for 17.5 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 17.5 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.