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Mentalization and intersubjectivity. Towards a theoretical integration

Liljenfors, Rikard LU and Lundh, Lars-Gunnar LU (2015) In Psychoanalytic Psychology 32(1). p.36-60
Abstract
The introduction of the concept of mentalization in psychological science by Fonagy and his associates has opened up new perspectives for the understanding of psychopathology, psychotherapy and child development. The present study reviews the theory of mentalization, with a focus on its four dimensions (cognitive/affective, implicit/explicit, self/other, and external/internal), and some unclear points and unresolved issues are identified. Mentalization theory is then contrasted with the theory of primary intersubjectivity, which is often seen as an incompatible approach to the development of social understanding. It is argued that this theory, at least in one of its interpretations, is not only compatible with mentalization theory, but may... (More)
The introduction of the concept of mentalization in psychological science by Fonagy and his associates has opened up new perspectives for the understanding of psychopathology, psychotherapy and child development. The present study reviews the theory of mentalization, with a focus on its four dimensions (cognitive/affective, implicit/explicit, self/other, and external/internal), and some unclear points and unresolved issues are identified. Mentalization theory is then contrasted with the theory of primary intersubjectivity, which is often seen as an incompatible approach to the development of social understanding. It is argued that this theory, at least in one of its interpretations, is not only compatible with mentalization theory, but may also possibly contribute to the resolution of some problems in mentalization theory. More specifically, it is argued that mentalization originally develops in the context of primary intersubjectivity, and that primary intersubjectivity is a basic prerequisite for the development of mentalization; but also that there is a considerable overlap between the concepts of primary intersubjectivity and those of implicit and externally focused mentalization. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
mentalization, primary intersubjectivity, affect regulation, metacognition, social cognition
in
Psychoanalytic Psychology
volume
32
issue
1
pages
36 - 60
publisher
American Psychological Association (APA)
external identifiers
  • wos:000347730600003
  • scopus:84925823562
ISSN
0736-9735
DOI
10.1037/a0037129
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
594750f6-d185-4f23-a8fb-4722d27a2a42 (old id 4378488)
date added to LUP
2014-03-31 15:33:27
date last changed
2017-10-22 03:11:25
@article{594750f6-d185-4f23-a8fb-4722d27a2a42,
  abstract     = {The introduction of the concept of mentalization in psychological science by Fonagy and his associates has opened up new perspectives for the understanding of psychopathology, psychotherapy and child development. The present study reviews the theory of mentalization, with a focus on its four dimensions (cognitive/affective, implicit/explicit, self/other, and external/internal), and some unclear points and unresolved issues are identified. Mentalization theory is then contrasted with the theory of primary intersubjectivity, which is often seen as an incompatible approach to the development of social understanding. It is argued that this theory, at least in one of its interpretations, is not only compatible with mentalization theory, but may also possibly contribute to the resolution of some problems in mentalization theory. More specifically, it is argued that mentalization originally develops in the context of primary intersubjectivity, and that primary intersubjectivity is a basic prerequisite for the development of mentalization; but also that there is a considerable overlap between the concepts of primary intersubjectivity and those of implicit and externally focused mentalization.},
  author       = {Liljenfors, Rikard and Lundh, Lars-Gunnar},
  issn         = {0736-9735},
  keyword      = {mentalization,primary intersubjectivity,affect regulation,metacognition,social cognition},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {36--60},
  publisher    = {American Psychological Association (APA)},
  series       = {Psychoanalytic Psychology},
  title        = {Mentalization and intersubjectivity. Towards a theoretical integration},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037129},
  volume       = {32},
  year         = {2015},
}