Pre-Conference Zoom Seminar for our 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting - Registration Closed

Introduction to Mentalization: An example of

theoretical and clinical integration


Norka Malberg, Psy.D.

Discussant: Mark Dangerfield, Ph.D.

In this pre-conference zoom seminar that also stands on its own, Dr. Norka Malberg will introduce

theoretical aspects of mentalization, and how it develops and is addressed clinically, with a

special emphasis on borderline-organized patients. “Mentalization” is the capacity to recognize

conscious and unconscious states of mind in oneself and others, and Mentalization-Based

Therapy (MBT) is an evidence-based treatment that derives from both traditional

psychoanalytic concepts and more recent discoveries in attachment and social cognition

research. Technical elements of a mentalization -focused intervention will be discussed

alongside clinical examples. The presentation seeks to integrate the existing expertise of the

participants in order to explore MBT as a framework for psychotherapy integration.

This introduction to the concept of Mentalization and its clinical applications will include:

• The ABC’s of MBT : Basic Theoretical Concepts

• The four legs of the MBT Stance: The Therapeutic Stance

• Technical Principles and Clinical Applications

This pre-conference webinar will meet via Zoom from 12:30-4pm. with one 20-minute break.


1. To identify the three pre-mentalizing modes of functioning and how they manifest in

clinical practice.

2. To describe the specific characteristics of an MBT therapeutic posture.

3. To identify and describe the four dimensions of functioning as they manifest in the

clinical situation and relationship.

4. To describe the theoretical influences supporting MBT clinical practice.


Norka Malberg, PsyD is a certified child and adult psychoanalyst who trained at the Anna

Freud Centre in London. She is co-editor of The Anna Freud Tradition, the first book in

Routledge’s “Lines of Development” series, and of the Child and Adolescent sections of the

PDM-2 (Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual). Known for her applications of attachment theory

to clinical work, Dr. Malberg has written and presented widely on mentalization-based

treatment for children and has been featured as a guest master clinician in such video series

as the APA’s Systems of Psychotherapy Video Series and Working with Emotions in Emotion-

Focused Therapy. Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Malberg teaches and lectures in Latin

America, Europe, and the United States in the areas of attachment, play, developmental

psychoanalysis, and children and trauma. She is currently in private practice in Barcelona,

Spain but remains Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center, where she

conducts an early childhood seminar for child psychiatric residents.


Mark Dangerfield, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has worked for

over 25 years in pediatric hospitals and mental health services in Barcelona, specializing in

treating adolescents and adults. A member of the Spanish Society of Psychoanalysis and the

International Psychoanalytical Association, he is the Clinical Manager of the Home

Intervention Team of the Vidal and Barraquer Foundation, a pioneering project in Spain that

works with non-help-seeking young people with high psychopathological and social

exclusion risks, based on the AMBIT model of the Anna Freud National Center for Children

and Families (London). Dr. Dangerfield is a Professor at the University Institute of Mental

Health (Ramon Llull University) and an AMBIT Trainer at the Anna Freud National Center for

Children and Families in London.