Article about attachment based parenting intervention for substance using mothers

This article describes a 12 session parenting intervention for mothers with abuse. The focus of the intervention is to support the mothers’ mentalization ability and to create a less hard and less disturbed upbringing. The intervention was compared to a control group that got a traditional parenting program. Compared with the control group, these mothers showed a better reflexive ability and more positive parenting behavior.

You can read the article here.


Video: Dr. Siegel on becoming a better parent

At Center for Mentalization we are interested in how parents’ own childhood affects their parenthood. In this video, Siegel outlines the importance of having courage to look at one’s own childhood in order to find a new meaning in it – thus changing how it affects the interaction with one’s child.


The development of the mentalization ability – video

A couple of fascinating classical studies that relate to the development of the mentalization ability.



Mental health in schools – material from the Anna Freud National Centre

The Anna Freud National Centre has produced a small universe with a lot of exciting material to talk about mental health in schools. 
In the video, Peter Fonagy explains how many hours children use in school and how important it is to use this arena to talk about mental health.
The material from the Anna Freud National Centre can be found here.


Literature for the August summer nights: Irvin D. Yalom’s book “Becoming Myself”

If you need some literature for the August summer nights, we can recommend Irvin D. Yalom’s book “Becoming Myself”.

Yalom writes about therapy and existence, and his understanding of the human mind and therapy has so much in common with the mentalization approach. In his latest book “Becoming Myself ” he tells about his own life. It is a story about his personal journey and is simultaneously a story about group therapy and the development of therapy through the last century.

Having followed his writing, the book is a must read. If not, perhaps you should start with “The gift of therapy” or one of his many other excellent books, where he brilliantly mixes knowledge about the treatment of existential challenges with good stories.


Center for Mentalization in the Faroe Islands

Center for Mentalization has visited the Faroe Islands many times. We love teaching on the beautiful islands and enjoy sharing the mentalization concepts with the Faroe Islanders. […]

TED Talk – a mother to one of the murderers of Columbine High

Some of the most terrifying and scary things are school shootings.

In this TED talk, a mother to one of the murderers of Columbine High tells about being the mother of a killer (and suicidal). Listening to her perspective is in its own way frightening because you intuitively want to shut up for your mentalization towards the mother of a murderer – but this is just what she is talking about personally and meaningfully.

This TED talk presents a message of fallibleness and a failure to understand the mind of one’s own child. […]

Teaching at the Anna Freud Centre

Janne Østergaard Hagelquist, toghether with Sheila Redfern, had the great pleasure of teaching this lovely group at the Anna Freud Centre about foster and adopted children ?


No human being is an island – Daniel Siegel

No human being is an island…
Perhaps something to think about during the summer?

In the link below, you can hear more about Daniel Siegel’s more spiritual version of mentalization: no human being is an island. According to him, we experience ourselves through others and are largely a product of our relationships. […]

Article about mentalization and foster parents

The first part of the article gives a fine review about the importance of mentalization and affiliation for foster children and foster parents.

In the article, two intervention programs for foster parents are analyzed. The traditional program contains lessons about foster children’s special challenges, traumas and affiliation. This is compared to foster parents who receives an educational program that in addition contains lessons and built-in exercises about mentalization. It is established in the article, that s short-term psychoeducative program about mentalization actually has an effect on the mentalization ability. An interesting finding is that the foster parents who only received a normal psychoeducative program about trauma and affiliation achieved a poorer mentalization ability after the programme. A hypothesis about the cause of this, is that knowledge in fact can freeze one’s perspective.

Read the article here […]