Presented by Professor Anthony Bateman

Anna Freud Centre and University College London

Mental health professionals are naturally concerned about the welfare of infants and children who live in a family with someone who has borderline personality disorder. How to assess the parenting abilities of people with BPD is complex and it is unclear what aspects of parenting may be affected adversely by the personality disorder. In addition people with BPD report mental health professionals assume erroneously that they will not be good parents, often because of their emotional instability; they feel stigmatised by this view. In this talk it will be suggested that mental health professionals may need to assess emotional stability in the mother-child and family context but they also need to consider the mentalizing profile of the person with BPD. Mentalizing will be discussed along with its relationship to attachment processes. Problems with mentalizing in BPD interfere with social interaction and in BPD it will be suggested that sensitivity to social inclusion and exclusion impacts on the family and parental interactions. These factors may have significant impact on the individual's ability to parent and to be responsive to their own and their child’s emotional development. Intervention will be outlined.

Prof. Anthony W Bateman MA FRCPsych is Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist and MBT coordinator at the Anna Freud Centre (London), visiting Professor at University College London, and Honorary Professor in Psychotherapy at the University of Copenhagen. He developed Mentalization Based Treatment with Peter Fonagy for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and studied its effective-ness in research trials. Adapted versions are now being used in multi-centre trials for Antisocial Personality Disorder, eating disorders, and drug addiction. He was an expert member of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence development group for treatment guidelines for BPD in the UK and is currently Chair of the National Guideline Development Group for Eating Disorders. He was President of the European Society for the Study of Personality Disorders from 2012-2015. He received a senior scientist award from British and Irish group for the Study of Personality Disorder in 2012 and in 2015 the annual award for “Achievement in the Field of Severe Personality Disorders” from the BPDRC in the USA. He has authored 14 books, numerous book chapters, and over 120 peer reviewed research articles on personality disorder and the use of psychotherapy in psychiatric practice.


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