The Underpinnings of Affect Regulation and Learning: Mentalization Capacities and the Attachment Context

This two hour presentation will present our evolving theoretical model, developed with a close group of colleagues, of lifespan self development and the key capacity for affect regulation. The model concerns the quality of attachment and the growth of different aspects of mentalization, and is rooted in theoretical, empirical and clinical work. Links with related concepts will be clarified. We will begin with the ways in which infants and children learn about the social and material world within relationships then focus on the development of a robust capacity for affect regulation, or the moderation of emotional states to within a range that allows creative relationships and learning. A clinical illustration will be given from adult psychotherapy and implications for practice will be discussed.

Learning objectives:

  1. Participants will gain an overview of the current status of the mentalization-focused theory of self development.
  2. Participants will gain a clear understanding of the overlaps and distinctions between mentalization and related concepts.
  3. Participants will further understand the importance and mechanisms of affect regulation and its clinical management.

Presentatie Mary Target

Presentatie Peter Fonagy