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Mentalizing family violence. Part 2: Techniques and interventions

Asen, E; Fonagy, P; (2017) Mentalizing family violence. Part 2: Techniques and interventions. Family Process , 56 (1) pp. 22-44. 10.1111/famp.12276. Green open access

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Abstract

This is the second of two companion papers that provide an overview of mentalization-based concepts and techniques when working with the seeming “mindlessness” of intra-family violence. The focus of this paper is on general mentalization-oriented approaches and specific interventions that aim to (1) disrupt the non-mentalizing cycles that can generate intra-family violence and (2) encourage the emergence of patterns of family interactions that provide the foundation for non-violent alternatives. Various playful exercises and activities are described including the taking of “mental state snapshots” and “selfies” in sessions and staging inverted role-plays, as well as using theatrical masks and creating body–mind maps and scans. These can make “chronic” relationship issues come alive in session and permit “here and now” experiences that generate a safe context for mentalizing to take place. At the core of the work is the continuous focus on integrating experience and reflection. Without the acute awareness of thoughts and feelings occurring in the sessions, mere reflection is not likely to enable change. By increasing mentalizing in the family system, family members’ trusting attitudes grow, both within and outside the family.

Type: Article
Title: Mentalizing family violence. Part 2: Techniques and interventions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/famp.12276
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12276
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Mentalizing, Mentalization-based approach, Violence, Family
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1535231
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