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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Patricia E. Murphy, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book provides theoretical perspectives on mentalizing, defined by the authors as attending to mental states in the self and others. It includes illustrations of this skill in the clinical practice of psychotherapy for various issues.
Purpose: The authors hope to educate about and break down possible resistance to the notion of mentalizing with a goal of enhancing skills of practitioners and their clients.
Audience: Readers who are familiar with the practice and theory of psychotherapy will find themselves readily agreeing with the content of this book and will appreciate its perspective. Trainees with some experience would benefit from this skillfully presented information.
Features: The authors lead readers through familiar concepts like attachment theory and an appreciation of how the ability to develop a perspective on affective responses forms in both client and clinician. This is complemented with a neurobiological evidence of different types of thought processes. Clear tables summarize material to make this brilliant synthesis from several areas seem obvious. Clinical applications make the consequences of the theory evident.
Assessment: The authors are superb teachers. It is refreshing to read this book that can heighten awareness of nuances in listening to and helping clients grow in recognizing and adapting the formulations of experience that shape their emotional responses.