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Simone Hoermann, Ph.D. Updated: Jul 30th 2010

Continuing on the topic of attachment and Personality Disorders, a paper by Fonagy and Bateman published in the Journal of Personality Disorders in 2008 recently caught my eye.  As mentioned previously, to date, we still don’t quite know what causes Personality Disorders. On several occasions, I have mentioned the fact that a large number of people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) have experienced childhood abuse or trauma, but that not everyone who had these adverse experiences necessarily develops BPD.  In an attempt to formulate a model of how Borderline Personality Disorder develops, Fonagy and Bateman use attachment theory and the concept of mentalization in order to bring together insights from biological as well as psychological research on the topic.  

The main idea posited by Fonagy and Bateman is that people with BPD have weaknesses in their ability to mentalize, that is, to understand their own and others’ internal states and motivation. This capacity to mentalize, according to the authors, develops within the context of early attachment relationships.  Fonagy and Bateman emphasize that any successful treatment of BPD has to stimulate the capacity to mentalize in one form or another.

Read in Full:  http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=39073&cn=8



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