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    Training for Organisations


Published in Training for Organisations on July 16th 2018

Mentalization-based therapy – Parenting under Pressure is a 10 session therapeutic model developed to help couples, parents who are together and separated parents who face a range of challenges and difficulties, particularly in relation to ongoing anger, hostility and difficulty in seeing their partner’s perspective.

These include parents locked in entrenched conflict about their children and couples/parents who are involved in domestic violence/couple conflict (also known as situational couple violence).

Our way of working is inspired by the original work of Professors Peter Fonagy and Anthony Bateman on mentalization, which they initially developed as a way of helping individuals.

About the intervention

Our 10 session mentalization-based approach helps couples/parents to:

  • focus on, and think about, not only the feelings and emotions they are experiencing, but those of their children too, learning to modify their behaviour
  • appreciate that their partner's thoughts and feelings may be different to their own, and that their partner may have a different perspective than they do
  • be curious about possible differences between themselves and their partner, and especially about the reasons why people may behave as they do.

Evidence base

Mentalization-based therapy was trialled with more than two and a half thousand parents during the Government’s Reducing Parental Conflict Programme between 2018 and 2022.

Evaluation of this programme found that:

  • Mentalization-based therapy showed the greatest improvements of all the interventions tested for separated parents across all relationship measures i.e. relationship warmth and relationship satisfaction, and the largest average reductions in hostility and open hostility[1]
  • Mentalization-based therapy showed the greatest improvements for intact parents across all relationship measures i.e. relationship warmth and relationship satisfaction, and the largest average reductions in hostility and open hostility[2]
  • Children whose parent(s) completed Mentalization-based therapy showed improvements in wellbeing across all measures, significant at 1% the level[3]
  • For Mentalization-based therapy – and Mentalization-based therapy alone – there was ‘no evidence that conflict returned back to pre-intervention levels’, with reductions in conflict being sustained for at least 6 months after the intervention[4].

Dates of our next training in Mentalization-based therapy (online) will appear here shortly.


The cost of this 5-day training (which includes a further two days follow-up training in the same calendar year) is £1,500 per person. Ongoing weekly supervision is required in order to be able to practice, and this is available at £100 per practitioner (over 42 weeks per year – i.e. £4,200).

The total cost of the training is therefore £5,700 per person.


Certificate in Mentalization-based therapy – Parenting under Pressure

Eligibility criteria

Trainees will already hold a qualification in some form of counselling or therapy, have experience of working with couples in conflict or good experience of working with families in trouble. 

To enquire about the training, please email Sarah Ingram, Head of Strategic Partnerships & Programmes, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


[1] (p.61 - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1182516/reducing-parental-conflict-programme-2018_2022-evaluation-of-interventions.pdf ).

[2] (p64 - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1182516/reducing-parental-conflict-programme-2018_2022-evaluation-of-interventions.pdf ).

[3] (p67 - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1182516/reducing-parental-conflict-programme-2018_2022-evaluation-of-interventions.pdf ).  

[4] (p48 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1182516/reducing-parental-conflict-programme-2018_2022-evaluation-of-interventions.pdf ).

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