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Living with dementia: using mentalization-based understandings to support family carers

McEvoy, P; Morris, L; Yates-Bolton, N; Charlesworth, G; (2020) Living with dementia: using mentalization-based understandings to support family carers. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy , 33 (4) pp. 233-247. 10.1080/02668734.2019.1709536.

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Abstract

The number of people living with dementia is rising due to the aging of the population. Nearly two thirds of people with dementia live at home and the majority of the emotional and practical support that they receive is provided by family carers. Psychodynamic perspectives provide a valuable framework of understanding from which to consider the emotional dimensions of caring for a family member who is living with dementia. This paper offers a further contribution to this emerging field of knowledge by discussing the impact that mentalizing and non-mentalizing states of mind may have on the dynamics of the relationship between a person with dementia and their family carers. The potential benefits of using mentalization-based understandings are illustrated by four case vignettes. The vignettes are taken from a communication skills training course for family carers called Empowered Conversations and a web-based support initiative called Empowered Carers, which is targeted at family carers who provide intensive support for people living with dementia in their own homes.

Type: Article
Title: Living with dementia: using mentalization-based understandings to support family carers
DOI: 10.1080/02668734.2019.1709536
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02668734.2019.1709536
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: dementia, family carers, mentalization, emotional support
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/10094244
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