Mentalisation-Based Therapy (MBT) is a twice weekly programme, consisting of individual and group therapy, for people who experience difficulties in regulating their emotions and managing interpersonal tension. Mentalising is the capacity to deal with misunderstandings which allows us to understand where we stand with others and enables us to understand how others influence us and at the same time how we affect others. Mentalising helps us look at our own contributions to relationship difficulties and cope with conflict in ways that don't damage our relationships. It helps us change our behaviours and calm down when we are upset, and relate to ourselves and other people with empathy and compassion.

What is Mentalisation-Based Therapy?

Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT) is an evidence based psychological programme that was initially developed for people living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) by clinicians and researchers at the Anna Freud Centre and that assumes interpersonal sensitivity to be a core feature of BPD. MBT programme consists of both group and individual components and its recommended length is a minimum of 12 months. For MBT to be successful it is highly recommended that participants attend both parts of the treatment. In the early phase of therapy it is helpful if participants can attend regular 1:1 therapy sessions in order to develop a safe relationship where both participant and therapist can work on a shared understanding of key mentalising issues and treatment aims. The frequency of 1:1 sessions can be spaced out after this initial phase depending on individual circumstances. The individual sessions are the platform for the group therapy which provides participants with opportunities to experiment with alternative ways of understanding themselves and others in unfamiliar ways. The group therapy sessions are different to individual therapy in that participants get a variety of people in the group who might evoke different responses and create opportunities for therapeutic shifts. To find out more about theoretical underpining of MBT and how it works please click here.

What is mentalising?

Put simply, mentalising is the ability we all have to manage times when we are uncertain about others, and ourselves. Uncertainty is always part of our intimate relationships, work relationships, social relationships and even how we relate to strangers. Mentalising helps us to fill in the gaps that uncertainty creates so that we can manage relationships healthily. Mentalising develops easily for people who are raised in secure and safe environments. The optimal conditions for mentalising to flourish are when parents, or care-givers, give children enough patience, support, kindness, emotional availability and acceptance. Unfortunately many people do not consistently experience these conditions growing up. Furthermore, children have more difficulty developing mentalising skills if they have faced adversity such as bullying experiences at school, abuse of various kinds and separation from parents or care-givers. This therapy has been developed to assist people to reclaim their innate capacities to mentalise in order that they can feel happier about who they are and more secure and confident in their relationships.

Where and when?

The group MBT sessions are held at Brighter Spaces, 2A Prebend Street, Islington, N1 8PT on Fridays from 16:30 to 18:00.

Who should join?

There is no specific diagnostic requirement for participation in the MBT programme. If intense emotions, impulsivity, anger and chaotic relationships interfere with the quality of your life, either in personal or professional contexts, MBT is highly recommended. An improvement in the ability to mentalise can be enormously helpful to anyone who currently experiences difficulties with self-harm, emotional sensitivity, intense or chaotic relationships, mood swings, anger, recurrent depression, anxiety and impulsivity. Participation in the group sessions is carefully considered in terms of each potential group members’ psychological awareness and their readiness to hear other people's experiences and listen to others' perspectives.

How to begin?

All individuals interested in joining the MBT programme will be assessed by a member of the Mind-Reframed team. It is also possible to provide a referral letter from your psychiatrist, GP or therapist outlining your mental health history, diagnosis (if any) and reasons for referral. Please contact us to discuss MBT further or email to arrange the assessment.


The fee is £80 for the 90-minute MBT group session. Fees are payable for two months in advance. To reserve the place 50% of the fee must be paid at the time of booking as a non-refundable deposit. The remaining part of the fee is due a week before the next two-month block begins. The fees are payable for each of the block sessions. This includes sessions that are not attended, missed or cancelled.