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The Clinical Challenge of Mentalization-based Therapy with Children Who are in “Pretend Mode”

Muller, N; Midgley, N; (2020) The Clinical Challenge of Mentalization-based Therapy with Children Who are in “Pretend Mode”. Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy 10.1080/15289168.2019.1701865. (In press).

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Abstract

The “pretend mode” is one of the so-called “pre-mentalizing modes of thinking”, which were first introduced by Target and Fonagy over 20 years ago. In a series of papers about play and reality, “pretend mode” thinking was understood as a mode of pre-mentalizing thinking which is typical in the early years, but which can reappear in a more problematic way in adults. Although the concept of pretend mode was first introduced in a developmental context, as a clinical term it has primarily been discussed in the context of adult or adolescent psychotherapy. This paper suggests that the pretend mode is a valuable clinical concept for therapists working with school-age children, but that its use in this context needs some clarification. After reviewing how pretend mode has been understood as a normal part of early development, this paper goes to demonstrate the various roles of pretend mode in clinical work with school-age children and sets out a number of clinical strategies that may be used in therapeutic work.

Type: Article
Title: The Clinical Challenge of Mentalization-based Therapy with Children Who are in “Pretend Mode”
DOI: 10.1080/15289168.2019.1701865
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/15289168.2019.1701865
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.
UCL classification: UCL
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091311
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