Mentalization Based Treatment




VIRTUAL SEMINAR | October 22 & 29, 2020 at 1 - 4:15 p.m. ET
Instructor: Joan Lesser, Ph.D., LICSW
CEs: 6 CEs for social workers and psychologists are available for $10 fee
Level: Intermediate

This course will present Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT), a recent psychoanalytic extension of attachment theory and research. MBT places strong emphasis on the relationship between attachment and mentalizing situated within the broader developmental gene-environment context. The multidimensional nature of mentalization will be addressed with attention to assessment of mentalizing, automatic (implicit) versus controlled (explicit) mentalizing and cognitive versus affective mentalizing. Additionally, the course will address MBT principles used in the treatment of relational trauma. Finally, there will be a discussion of the "relational passport" and other therapeutic techniques, illustrated with case examples. Course participants will be invited to share their own disguised case material, as appropriate.

Target Audience: 

Social workers and other social service providers

Course Delivery Method and Format:

Synchronous, interactive virtual seminar with discussion

Registration Fees and Deadlines:

Regular registration by October 21, 2020: $140

CEs: 6 CEs for social workers and psychologists are available for $10 fee

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT).
  2. Describe the relationship between attachment and mentalization.
  3. Explain connection between mentalization and resilience.
  4. List treatment strategies in MBT.
  5. Describe how to apply treatment strategies to clinical practice.


Day 1: 
  • Introduction and overview of Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT)
  • Relationship between Attachment Theory and MBT and between mentalization and attachment
  • Assessment of mentalization
  • Context/relationship specific nature of mentalizing
Day 2:
  • Mentalization and relational trauma
  • Treatment strategies.
  • Case example(s)
  • Summary

Instructor Biography:

Joan Lesser, Ph.D., LICSW is an adjunct associate professor at the Smith College School for Social Work and is the director of clinical training for the School’s Ph.D. program. She is the founder of Pioneer Valley Professional, a multidisciplinary clinical practice in Holyoke, MA. Dr. Lesser is the author of several articles, book chapters and the co-author of two social work textbooks. She has presented on a range of clinical topics locally, nationally and internationally.

Completion Requirements: 

To receive a CE certificate, you must attend the entirety of the seminar. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the seminar/live webinar. For live online seminars, participant attendance is tracked through Zoom, students are visible throughout the online class and participants must complete an evaluation. It is attendees' responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.

How Certificate is Awarded:

Upon completing the evaluation, and other documents such as post test and attestation if applicable, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of course completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records. Receiving the CE certificate is contingent on completion of the evaluation and other necessary documents.


Social Work CE Credit: The Smith College School for Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is therefore authorized to provide CEs as a postsecondary institution accredited by CSWE in many states. Courses offered through the School's Program of Professional Education are awarded continuing education credits in accordance with Continuing Education Regulation 258, CMR, 31.00 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Smith College School for Social Work, Office of Professional Education SW OPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0169. If outside these states, please contact your licensing board for accreditation information regarding your state. Association of Social Work Boards database of social work licensure requirements.

Psychology CE Credit: Co-sponsored training events for psychology CE credit with Smith College School for Social Work. Amego Prepare​ is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Amego Prepare maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Mary Curtin | Manager of Professional Education

Lilly Hall, 23 West Street, Northampton MA 01062 | 413.585.7970