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    Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT): Reflective Fostering

    View all our upcoming MBT-CYP training

    MBT Reflective Fostering

    Reflective Fostering is a new approach to working with children and young people in foster care and aims to support their emotional wellbeing through working with foster carers, adopters and the wider professional network.

    Reflective Fostering focuses on supporting foster carers to understand and manage their own emotional responses to having children and young people in their care.  This is a psychoeducation approach, aimed at improving the core components of secure attachment, including; increasing carer sensitivity and reflective capacity, developing reflective practice within the professional network, promoting collaboration around the child or young person and with the eventual aim of helping to stabilize placements where there has been a history of placement breakdown or instability.

    A key feature of the Reflective Fostering model is the focus on the need to pay particular attention to the foster carers’ state of mind and support their mentalizing of the children in their care.  This focus supports a carer’s ability to remain reflective and emotionally regulated in the face of high conflict situations or when a child is experiencing emotional disturbance.  It is expected that almost all foster carers will, at some time, find it difficult to keep their mentalizing going when they are challenged by a child in their carer who has had a history of unstable attachments and who has not learned how to mentalize themselves or others in their early development.  

    About this training in Reflective Fostering

    The training introduces participants to The Reflective Fostering model developed by Dr Sheila Redfern for use in work with foster carers, adoptive parents and with Looked After Children (LAC) professionals.  The model focuses on the application of mentalizing theory and practice in addressing particular difficulties in emotion regulation and perspective-taking.  The course will also look at the impact of early developmental trauma on the experience of children who leave care and enter permanent adoption, or who are adopted from their birth parents. 

    There will be opportunity to develop skills in using mentalizing strategies which can help unstick conversations with foster carers and adoptive parents and help them become more mentalized. 

    Anna Freud brings together those with a stake in the mental health of children and young people. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter and occasional updates about Anna Freuds training and events. 


    "It was excellent. Very thoughtful. Engaging. Good mix of theoretical principals and interactive work. Loved the videos!" - participant

    "Very good with a lot of clinical practice, very useful. Sheila and Ali are presenting the material in a pleasant and humorous way." - participant

    "I thought the training was excellent. I enjoyed the two days and found the content highly relevant to my work with foster carers and adopters." - participant

    Dr Sheila Redfern

    Dr Sheila Redfern

    Consultant clinical psychologist