When you think about attachment theory, you may immediately visualize young children and their relationships with their primary caregivers. The capacity for mentalization develops early in life. “Mentalization refers to the spontaneous sense individuals have of themselves and others as persons whose actions are based on mental states: desires, needs, feelings, reasons, beliefs and the like” (Allen, Bleiberg, & Haslam-Hopwood, 2003, para. 5). In other words, we acquire our sense of ourselves and others through our capacity to “read” other persons’ mental states. Ongoing research on attachment theory and mentalization indicates that many psychiatric disorders are related to under-developed mentalization skills across an individual’s lifespan. Thus, a therapist may find success in treating clients using interventions that address these skills.
As you read the Learning Resources this week, focus on how attachment theory can be applied to interventions not just with children, but also with adults. In addition, consider circumstances in which you might use mentalization as an intervention.
Application of attachment Theory
Post an explanation of one way you might apply attachment theory to your treatment of an adult client. Explain why you might use attachment theory and include presenting problems that might influence your decision. Describe circumstances in which you might consider using methods to increase a client’s capacity for mentalization as an intervention and explain why this therapy might be appropriate.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources, citing all references in APA format.