About this course

The new MBT Basic Training one-month course is made up of 3 days of live, instructor-led content (including breaks) and 21 hours of self-guided content - attendees will be required to do various tasks before, in-between and after the live, instructor-led sessions.

Please note that this training will take place online in Pacific Standard Time (PST). If you are based on the East Cost of USA please see our MBT Basic Training in EST zone here.

The live day sessions will run on 3rd, 5th and 6th March 2021, 8:00am - 14:00pm Pacific Standard Time. You will receive 1 month access to our newly developed self-guided online training. Access to this platform will be provided on Monday, 15th February 2021.

Up to 21 Continuing Education Units are due to be available, pending final accreditation. Details to follow.

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Mentalizing refers to our ability to attend to, and understand our own actions and those of others on the basis of, mental states. This is the focus of MBT, initially developed by Drs. Anthony Bateman and Peter Fonagy for the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD) but now used on a wide range of disorders. MBT was developed based on studies of early childhood development and attachment. In this course, participants will learn how to implement MBT techniques within their clinical practice as a specialist treatment.

Common clinical situations are discussed and ‘role played’ to practice skills. MBT requires therapists to focus on the patient’s mental state and on their understanding of interactions with the patient. The therapist takes a ‘not knowing’ stance and yet explicitly develops with the patient or family alternative perspectives about what is happening. Participants will learn how to use their own experiences of the patient as a way of increasing mentalizing within therapeutic encounters. The course considers techniques, such as clarification, challenge and basic mentalizing in the context of some of the common clinical scenarios encountered in treatment with patients.

This workshop will equip participants to understand: 

  • How mentalizing handicaps derive from early parent-child interactions
  • How mentalizing failures reflect and cause insecure attachments
  • How psychotherapeutic interventions are efforts to correct mentalizing & attachment handicaps

Please note, Professor Peter Fonagy teaches approximately 1 day on this training. Depending on availability, his teaching time may be reduced.

Who is this course suitable for

This workshop is suitable for mental health and other professionals who are interested in the treatment of personality disorder.

Applicants for the basic entry training course must meet the following pre-entry criteria:

  1. They should be qualified health professionals such as Mental Health Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Clinical/Counselling Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Social Workers, Psychotherapists.
  2. They will have undertaken a course of study, for example the KUF for personality disorder, and have a good working knowledge of theories underpinning the development of personality. This will cover psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, biological, systemic and social approaches.
  3. They will have a minimum of 1 years’ experience working therapeutically with people with personality disorder in teams or in individual or group work.
  4. They will have undertaken supervised practice and be committed to professional standards and practice within an ethical framework.
  5. It is desirable that they have personal experience of psychotherapy or counselling.

It is a requirement that attendees of this training must complete the "Mentalizing and Mentalization Based Treatment with Adults (MBT Adult) – An Introduction" online course before the training start date. You will be given access to the this training one month before the training start date. Please note access to the training will be granted once full payment is received. The Online training consists of a series of short videos that span four hours and cover the theory of MBT and so it is essential that you watch these prior to the training. If you do not complete these, you will not have the theoretical knowledge to get the most out of the training you are scheduled to attend. The content of the Online training will not be covered in the in-person training. If, for any reason, you require access to the Online training sooner than one month prior to the training start date, please let us know and we will be able to grant you access. Please note that training places must be paid for in order to be granted access to the Online training.



By the end of this conference, participants will to able to:

  1. Describe the derivation of the concept of mentalization and summarize the basic theory
  2. Differentiate mentalizing from cognitive behavioral psychodynamic and systemic psychotherapies
  3. Contrast implicit from explicit mentalization
  4. Explain the role of attachment in the development of mentalization
  5. Contrast non-mentalizing from mentalizing. Recognize the three social cognitive precursors to mentalization.
  6. Demonstrate use of the MBT therapist stance (i.e., not knowing)
  7. Distinguish the four poles of mentalizing
  8. Recognize in their patients reliance on the three antecedents to mentalizing (psychic equivalence, pretend mode, and teleological function) and alter their therapeutic stance to be able to manage them
  9. Compare and contrast empathic from sympathetic interactions
  10. Demonstrate ability to lower high levels of emotional arousal
  11. Demonstrate basic mentalizing techniques: empathy, clarification and exploration, “rewind,” “stop and stand,” and “challenge”
  12. Practice the use of affect focus and perspective-taking
  13. Recognize and formulate the interpersonal context underlying the loss of mentalizing
  14. Evaluate suicidality as a loss of mentalization in the context of an attachment relationship
  15. Construct a case formulation based on MBT developmental theory
  16. Compare and contrast traditional use of transference to the MBT use of the relationship
  17. Employ use of self-observation in work with a patient
  18. Recognize in patients with trauma the role of the alien self
  19. Implement the intervention algorithm of MBT
  20. Implement MBT techniques into a group therapy practice

This course is jointly sponsored by Lifespan Learning Institute and The Mentalizing Initiative, which are responsible for the content.  

The UCLA Faculty Center is ADA compliant. For more information, please visit

For any enquiries, please contact Robin Kissell on 310-859-7912.


System for online training requirements

The online platform Zoom will be used to deliver this training. Prior to booking on, please ensure you meet the system requirements so you're able to join this training. 

Before the training, please test your equipment is working by going to and follow the instructions.

The self-directed learning is hosted on Blackboard. Please review if your browser supports this system prior to booking on.

  • 1 month programme (3 days live training and 21 hours self-guided content - online course)

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