What is Mentalization? (MBT)

My placement is based upon the Mentalization Based Treatment model; this is a NICE recommended, evidence-based treatment for personality disorders (although it is less well-known than DBT). I’ve had a day where I’ve needed some help distracting myself and keeping busy, so one of the MBT Practitioners here asked me to have a go at summarising Mentalization and the model we work with in to something that can be transformed in to a booklet for staff members (e.g. HCAs and nurses who haven’t had specific training in MBT) and new patients.

This is my first draft and I thought it might be useful to share it more widely for anyone curious about MBT as I know I struggled to find easily-accessible material when this placement was suggested to me.

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Painful Contradictions in Mental Health Treatment

I’m having a contrary time at the moment.

On the one hand, I am feeling incredibly awful – dealing with dreadful anniversaries, and a whole host of guilt, shame, self-hatred and fear that go with them.

On the other, I had the most positive CPA I could hope for today in terms of recognition of the work I am putting in to my placement (& the intensive therapy that is part and parcel), the progress I’ve already made, and everyone’s hopes for the positive trajectory of recovery they are currently predicting.

This second point is also making me guilty that I can’t “just be positive” and focus on the blessings of the help and support I am currently receiving that led to as yet unheard of positivity from everyone at the meeting (including myself). But here I am feeling overwhelmingly sad for all I’ve put those around me through and struggling to cope with that guilt.

To try to help get through, I was searching for a positive quote to paint as a reminder for myself, and this one struck a chord…

Monstrous Mental Illness

is a painting I did last week when really struggling; I just needed to get what I was feeling out so it is a rough, emotion-filled picture with no fore-thought or plan. It depicts the dark, overwhelming monster of mental illness feeding on despair and blocking out the colour of the world and vibrancy of life. It can feel like the very substance of ‘you’ is being sucked away, becoming more and more faint, dominated by this inexplicable darkness…yet you know that just out of reach is a colourful, textured and varied world.

A Bit of My Leg Will Be In My Arm

**Trigger Warning: mention of self harm and medical treatment** Today I found out that I need to have surgery to deal with some self harm that otherwise won’t heal. It’s one of those things that I know I have to deal with as potential repercussions of symptoms of my illness such as self harm- although… Continue reading A Bit of My Leg Will Be In My Arm

TOXCITY LEVEL EXCEEDED

TRIGGER WARNING: overdose

Today has been a day of fighting that bastard of a monster who takes control of my head and heart. I think of him like this:

That monster convinced me that even by sitting with other patients or staff I would spread the toxicity inside me to them and even worse that I was having such a bad impact that I couldn’t even just avoid people but would have to die.

I found some tablets on leave. I grabbed them. I meant to take them to punish myself.

But that little bit of Molly somehow battled past the monster long enough for me to grab a member of staff I know and trust. And I wrote a letter explaining, handed it over, and then had a chat with her and a nurse.

The staff were lovely- truly- but I still don’t know if I did the right thing or if it was really selfish of me to not remove myself for the good of everyone else. I still couldn’t sit with my usual group of friends here after the talks and PRN.

A very sad, scared and confused Molly šŸ˜¦

So the second week begins…

I can’t believe it’s the start of my second full week at New Placement already; it’s one of those weird time vortex situations that feels both like I only arrived yesterday and have been here for months at the same time. This week I get to try out a few more things – I’ve mainly… Continue reading So the second week begins…

Week-i-versary

So, I’ve been at my new placement a week. It kind of feels like forever in both good and bad ways…I’ve met some really lovely fellow patients who I enjoy spending time with and some nice staff who seem to genuinely care but it has also felt a little claustrophobic at times with some big… Continue reading Week-i-versary