Who we help
Mentalization Based Treatment for Families (MBT-F) is an intervention for families with children up to 18 years of age. MBT-F focuses on improving family relationships by supporting family members’ to think and talk about each other’s emotions and thoughts, and to be imaginative about why family members may behave in certain ways. Research and experience shows that once this happens, communication and the ability to solve problems together will improve in the family.
Families may come to MBT-F with a whole range of difficulties including:
- Angry outbursts and tantrums
- Distressed or troubled children
- Tensions in family relationships
- Coping with loss and bereavement
- Difficulties with making or keeping friends
- Impact of divorce or separation on children
How we help
The main focus of our intervention is on the relationships within your family, and how we might improve those together.
We aim to provide a calm, non-judgemental setting, where your therapist will invite everyone to think about their own experiences, and the thoughts and feelings of other family members, in order to find more positive ways of getting along together.
We sometimes use playful techniques, such as drawing or acting, in order to encourage understanding from different perspectives.
We have a multi-disciplinary team which includes professionals from psychiatry, child and adolescent psychotherapy, clinical psychology and family therapy and we meet weekly for team supervision to support our work with families.
The service offers 6 to 10 meetings, usually fortnightly. Findings from our studies so far indicate that 6 to 10 meetings with an MBT-F therapist can make a real difference for the majority of families we see.
How we Learn and Develop
To ensure that we continue to provide the highest quality of care we regularly collect information from parents and children (if appropriate) who attend the service. This allows us to track the progress that parents and their children make over the course of their treatment in order to evaluate what we do.
Children, young people and families are at the heart of everything we do. We believe it is essential to involve service users in the design of our services. We have a number of participation projects we involve parents in. For more information please click here.
How we Train Others
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families offers a short training course in Mentalization-Based Treatment for Families for those working with young people and their families, which introduces the key elements of this type of therapy.
For a full list of the training courses offered at the Anna Freud Centre please click here.
How to find out more
For more information or to make a referral please contact Laura Baver, Clinical Administrator:
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7443 2261
Please note the Anna Freud Centre is a charity and therefore relies on financial contributions from families. We ask families to pay according to the sliding scale which is adjusted to family income.
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families is strongly committed to ensuring and promoting the safety and wellbeing of all children, young people and vulnerable adults.