Trusting in Psychotheraphy,

By: J. Allen, 2021

In this fine and intelligent book J. Allen unfolds the concept of trust and from different professional angles he examines the significance that trust has in psychotherapy. In a way, it is a noticeable void that he is thereby trying to fill. Because although anyone who has given or received psychotherapy knows how fundamental trust is in that kind of treatment, surprisingly little has been written about the phenomenon. When we deal with trust either as therapists or researchers in the field, we tend to do so solely with a focus on understanding or working with clients’ problems with trust, which particularly is a theme for people who have experienced failure and trauma in attachment relations. Instead, Allen shifts his focus to the credibility of therapists and sees trust as an essentially reciprocal, relational process: showing trust requires that there is a trustworthy other to show it to if trust is to make sense and especially create healing.
So, what is it that makes psychotherapy a credible, effective treatment? In the first chapter of the book, Allen summarizes decades of research on this issue – research that indicates that individual differences between therapists have a greater impact on the outcome of therapy than specific therapeutic methods. On this basis, he concludes that there is not only a need for a change of focus in the way we deal with trust in psychotherapy, but also a need for a change of balance in relation to the way we educate and develop the subject – namely the process from development of methods to development of credible therapists.
This conclusion sets the stage for the book’s remaining three chapters, in which Allen examines trust and the development of trust and distrust from both developmental psychological, philosophical, and therapeutic angles. The book is kept in easy-to-understand language without losing sight of the complexity and deeper nuances of the themes. Each chapter concludes with a summary of the chapter’s most important points, as well as concrete implications for therapeutic practice and thus becomes both readable and practically applicable to everyone in the field of treatment or with an interest in it. Perhaps the most important book written in the field for many years.

Mentalization Based Treatment with families

By Peter Fonagy og Eia Asen.

This book is state of the art in relation to mentalization based family therapy. In the first part of the book, the mentalization theory is reviewed in relation to working with families. After a review of the concepts in the first chapters, chapter five is perhaps the book’s best chapter. A lot of ideas and games for mentalization-based interventions with families is reviewed in this chapter. In the other chapters of the book there is a focus on social media and challenges with screen time in families. Furthermore the chapters focus how to work with mentalization in relation to families who come from a different cultures. The book is filled with cases and recognizable dilemmas. When you know Eia Asen you can imagine how he performs the interventions and it may be a challenge that Eia can do something very special with her humor and mentalizing nature which may be difficult to do in the same way. The theme chapters alternate between very theoretical reflections and completely low-practice interventions, which very well reflects the two authors who complement each other but also work with the mentalization theory from different angles. All in all, an interesting book for those who work with families or are preoccupied with the development of the field of mentalization.

“Handbook of Mentalizing in Mental Health Practice” – Second edition

By Anthony W. Bateman og Peter Fonagy

“Handbook of Mentalizing in Mental Health Practice” first published in 2012, has been reworked into a new and improved 2. edition with an update on the Mentalization Theory. The book is divided into; Principles (basic theory), Clinical practice (groups, youth, couples etc.) and specific applications (Diagnosis). As an indication of the development of the Mentalization theory a number of experts have contributed with new chapters on specialized approaches and more diagnoses. Key concepts such as P-factor and Epistemic trust are described in depth. All chapters are well written and a specific add-on is the good examples and cases.

“Handbook of Mentalizing in Mental Health Practice” is maybe the most important book for professionals with an interest for and a desire to learn more about the implementation of the Mentalization theory.

“Reflective Parenting: A guide to understanding what’s going on in your child’s mind.”

By Alistar Cooper and Sheila Redfern

Alistar Cooper and Sheila Redfern are the authors of this wonderful book about raising children in a mentalizing manner. The psychological theory is written in an easygoing way, which makes this book easy to understand and a pleasure to read. The main theme concerns why Mentalization and Reflective Functioning is momentous to the development of secure, socially well-balanced and mentalizing children. The book emphasizes how being able to look at oneself as a parent is essential for good parenting skills. Good parenting skills relates to the ability to reflect on your own feelings and balance these feelings in a reflective interaction with the child.

The authors stress the importance of having a family culture where parents act as role models in managing conflicts. A central point is, that conflicts are a natural phenomenon in a parent-child relation and conflicts can be helpful if parents are able to re-connect and maintain a secure relation in the situation so the child feels loved and respected.

The book also focuses on the mentalizing work with sensitive children, who in this context are neglected and traumatized children, or children with Asperger’s syndrome. This is an interesting perspective, and the book is generally characterized by the use of many everyday examples, which makes the book both relevant and meaningful to the reader.

Finally the book addresses relations within family, between siblings, friends and how to mentalize all the positive and stimulating moments in the parent-child interactions.

Reflective Parenting