A common aspect of evidence-based treatments for people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) is pedagogical interventions and formats. In mentalization-based treatment (MBT) the introductory course has a clear pedagogical format, but a pedagogical stance is not otherwise defined.
Treatment integrity was quantitatively assessed in a sample of 346 individual MBT sessions. Nine group sessions and 24 individual MBT sessions were qualitatively subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA).
The dominating intervention type was MBT Item 16—therapist checking own understanding (31% of the interventions). IPA unveiled the following: (1) a pervasive, but hidden/implicit psychopedagogical agenda, (2) psychopedagogical content seemed precious for the patients, and (3) four tentative strategies for pedagogical interventions in MBT (a) independent reasoning; (b) epistemic trust; (c) mental flexibility; and (d) application of verified insights, knowledge, or strategies.
Development and clarification of the pedagogical stance in MBT could further improve the quality of therapists' interventions.
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