TU86: Mentalization and Regression, Responding to Listener’s Questions with Sue Marriott

by | Dec 21, 2018 | Attachment, Brain Science, Episodes, Mindfulness, Neuroscience, Relationships

Show Notes

Therapist Uncensored co-host Sue Marriott ends the year with an episode answering two great questions about mentalization, regression and attachment left by listeners. By the way she totally missed her co-host and partner in crime, Dr. Ann Kelley, who was out of town and could not make it work before end of year. Hi Ann! Can’t wait to have you back on air!

In this episode, we discuss:

Question 1: “If someone is so far on the blue spectrum, they are completely out of touch with emotions and needs and intimate relationships, trying to think of what the other person feels or staying curious seems almost impossible. It feels like mentalizing is too much to ask from that person. Is there something of an approach you can recommend prior to mentalizing, to basically make it even possible?”

  • A recap on what mentalizing is and how it works – conscious and unconscious examples
  • The Three Pillars model for treating secure attachment – mentalizing isn’t the only intervention. You need to work on gaining an agreement, or getting collaboration that this is even a goal. Also introducing safety via imagery or real relationships to move the person to a more secure, confident place to begin to open up and not be so righteous and certain.
  • All this helps to move from certainty to curiosity – and curiousity helps with mentalization/mindsight/mirror neurons/reflective function….

Question 2: “How to deal with regression and attachment, especially when we are facing frustrating times and emotionally heightened situations? How do we avoid steering into the deep dark corner of your personal attachment which is making the relationship at risk? How do we secure ourselves or your partner?”

  • Discussion of difference between regression and just having attachment insecurity as a whole, living in the blue vs. resorting to dismissiveness or avoidance due to current environmental or internal stressors.
  • Noticing the signs of regression
  • Learning about your triggers, patterns and warning flags of regression – know where your bones are buried. Make a map of your psyche so you can more fully trust yourself and know when not to trust your (usually very strong) reactions.
  • Journaling is a great way to make your map and keep yourself on course. If nothing else, do this to continue to grow your secure coherent narrative towards integration. Integration protects relationships.


Resources from this episode:

This video is a must watch even if you’ve seen the concept discussed before… Study it, learn it, use it in daily life. Please!

More on Dan’s handmodel of the brain – Psychalive. 

Healing Attachment Disruptions in Adults, Comprehensive Treatment and Repair by Dan Brown and David Elliott This is MUST HAVE book for your professional library. If it’s too dense… stay in touch we have a few options available soon for you from both Elliott and Brown…. Fun stuff to be announced soon.

Minding Emotions Cultivating Mentalization in Psychotherapy – by Elliot Jurist

Thank you to our brave listeners who allowed us to use their great questions – Sina from Berlin, Germany and Avy! Please uncensor yourself and leave us a message on our voicemail ! So fun! 

Enjoying this episode? Then you’ll probably enjoy this previous publication as well, Reading Between the Lines, Attachment in the Classrooms with Linnno Rhodes

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