Pedagogical stance in mentalization-based treatment

Espen Folmo*, Tuva Langjord, Nini Myhrvold, Stänicke, Majse Lind, Elfrida Kvarstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


Background: A common aspect of evidence-based treatments for people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) is pedagogical interventions and formats. In mentalization-based treatment (MBT) the introductory course has a clear pedagogical format, but a pedagogical stance is not otherwise defined. Methods: Treatment integrity was quantitatively assessed in a sample of 346 individual MBT sessions. Nine group sessions and 24 individual MBT sessions were qualitatively subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Results: The dominating intervention type was MBT Item 16—therapist checking own understanding (31% of the interventions). IPA unveiled the following: (1) a pervasive, but hidden/implicit psychopedagogical agenda, (2) psychopedagogical content seemed precious for the patients, and (3) four tentative strategies for pedagogical interventions in MBT (a) independent reasoning; (b) epistemic trust; (c) mental flexibility; and (d) application of verified insights, knowledge, or strategies. Conclusion: Development and clarification of the pedagogical stance in MBT could further improve the quality of therapists' interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1764-1784
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Clinical Psychology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • borderline personality disorder
  • clinical practice guidelines
  • cultural competence
  • education and training
  • evidence-based psychotherapy
  • Borderline Personality Disorder/therapy
  • Humans
  • Mentalization
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Psychotherapy/methods
  • Theory of Mind
  • Mentalization-Based Therapy


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