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(p. 182) Clinician stance 

(p. 182) Clinician stance
(p. 182) Clinician stance

Anthony Bateman

and Peter Fonagy

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date: 30 October 2020

This chapter describes the clinical stance that underpins all mentalization-based treatment practice. The clinician’s work of attempting to scrutinize and hold in mind the patient’s state of mind, to help the patient apprehend what he/she feels and why he/she experiences what he/she does, often requires the clinician to be aware of his/her own mind and stance within a session. The chapter explains the general principles of the clinician’s mentalizing stance: humility deriving from “not knowing”; patience; legitimizing and accepting differences of opinion; actively questioning the patient about his/her experience; and eschewing the need for things to “make sense.” This stance requires the clinician to monitor his/her own mentalizing and acknowledge his/her clinical mistakes and mentalizing breakdowns. The chapter describes the ways in which the clinician can monitor his/her own state, and the techniques available to the clinician to help maintain his/her mentalizing stance.

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