Everyone has feelings and emotions — it’s part of being human — but understanding and navigating your emotions isn’t always easy.
What you think and feel can often be overwhelming, confusing, and stressful — especially if you’re unsure how to manage or express your emotions. Understanding your emotions is crucial for optimal well-being, and that’s where mentalization-based therapy (MBT) can help.
Our team at Psychology Beverly Hills specializes in MBT, a therapeutic approach that offers valuable tools and insights to help you gain a deeper understanding of your emotions to improve your overall psychological health.
Read on to discover the key principles of MBT and how it can empower you to navigate your feelings and emotions with greater clarity and resilience.
The basics of mentalization-based therapy (MBT)
MBT is an evidence-based treatment developed in the 1990s. It focuses on enhancing your mentalizing capacity, which is your ability to understand your mental states and those of others.
Mentalizing involves first recognizing and then interpreting thoughts, emotions, and intentions. It forms the basis for healthy relationships and emotional well-being, and it all starts by getting in touch with your feelings and emotions.
How MBT can help you
In MBT, our therapists guide you through a process that involves reflecting on your thoughts and feelings. It’s easy to miss or ignore feelings and emotions as you go about your day, but taking the time to recognize and understand them promotes mental clarity and overall well-being.
MBT helps you understand your mental state by:
Through MBT, you can develop a stronger sense of self-awareness. By reflecting on your emotions, you learn to differentiate between different emotional states and understand the underlying motivations and triggers behind them.
By becoming more aware of your emotions and the reasons behind them, you can gain greater control over your reactions to the events of daily life.
Enhancing emotional resilience
One of the core benefits of MBT is its capacity to enhance emotional resilience. A deeper understanding of your emotional experiences allows you to respond to challenging situations with greater clarity and composure.
Mentalization also helps you develop emotional problem-solving skills, empowering you to face adversity with more resilience and confidence.
Breaking the cycle of misunderstanding
Misinterpretation and misunderstanding of emotions — both yours and others’ — can lead to significant distress and interpersonal difficulties. MBT helps you break free from these destructive cycles by challenging your assumptions and biases about emotions.
By learning to mentalize, you can prevent automatic reactions, slow down impulsive behavior, and develop more adaptive responses to emotional triggers.
Along with self-reflection, MBT emphasizes the importance of understanding other people’s mental states. Our team works with you to gain empathy and perspective-taking skills to help improve your interpersonal relationships.
Mentalization allows you to recognize that others have their own thoughts, emotions, and intentions, which might differ from your own. This understanding fosters compassion, reduces conflicts, and promotes healthier communication.
Last but not least, MBT helps you learn to navigate ambiguity confidently. Life is filled with uncertainty, and often, anxiety and distress come with it.
MBT encourages you to embrace ambiguity and develop a tolerance for uncertainty. Rather than jumping to conclusions or resorting to black-and-white thinking, using mentalization techniques can help you explore multiple perspectives and possibilities.
Overall, MBT aims to equip you with a valuable framework for understanding and managing your emotions more effectively. Through mentalization, you can develop resilience, embrace uncertainty, and foster healthier relationships.
If you struggle with your emotions or feel overwhelmed, we’re here to help. Book your first appointment online or call our Beverly Hills, California, office at 424-331-1568 to learn more about the benefits of MBT.