Five training days (3 + 2) plus 32 hours of group supervision

About this course

Mentalization Based Treatment is an evidence based psychological therapy for borderline personality disorder (BPD). The training is organised in a stepped system from basic training to practitioner level and then through to supervisor to training levels.

There are  currently three components to training in Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) - a basic training course, supervision, and a certificate course for practitioner level.

General Criteria for identifying staff to put forward for upskilling in treatments for personality disorder

Training team leaders should work with professional leads for psychological therapies to identify staff:

  1. Who can have the required amount of time built into their job plan to undertake the training, required casework and associated supervision to become proficient in the specified approach;
  2. Who are highly motivated to undertake what can be demanding programmes of study;
  3. With the required entry qualifications and competences for the upskilling training;
  4. With the required job roles and identified capacity, and at the required grade to implement either the individual therapy/family intervention, or in some cases wider team components of treatment;
  5. With access to the required specialist supervision during and beyond the training period;
  6. Should only be put forward for training if they will spend a minimum of two days per week delivering the interventions they are being trained to deliver. Any less would be considered a poor return on new public investment in training and is likely to lead to rapid skills decay post-training.

Specific criteria for training in specialist treatment - Mentalization Based Treatment

Mentalization based treatment (MBT) for borderline and other personality disorders is based on an understanding of personality disorder as a disorder of the self and an inability to regulate emotion, both of which result from developmental disturbance of attachment leading to a failure of mentalization (the capacity to understand one’s own and others’ mental states). The intervention can be delivered in a community/out-patient setting or day-patient or in-patient setting. The intervention aims to increase self-reflective capacity and ability to regulate emotions, and improve reflexive aptitude to interpret social and interpersonal cues more accurately. Full implementation in community services requires group and individual intervention. 


  1. Core mental health professional qualification or BABCP accredited;
  2. Evidence of having generic competences for treating people with personality disorder with psychological therapy;
  3. Experience of cognitive and/or psychodynamic psychological interventions;
  4. Working with a team and being part of a developing/proposed or current personality disorder treatment pathway;
  5. Attending with 3 or more clinicians from the organisation who meet the general criteria (one should be AfC Grade 6 or above and have supervisory role in current job plan);
  6. Motivated to work with patients with personality disorder who may be at risk to themselves or others;
  7. Ability to participate in on-going implementation supervision in the work-place following the course.

Format of this training

5 days (3 + 2 days) over approximately 12 months = 3 days training, followed by 32 hours of small group supervision and attendance at the two-day MBT Practitioner training. In addition to the supervision we provide, we also advise that attendees conduct 1-hour team/peer supervision internally per month. The MBT Practitioner training will be scheduled shortly and attendees will be advised of these in advance. Supervision groups will be organised and supervisors allocated after the first three days.