Deficits of Affect Mentalization in Patients with Drug Addiction: Theoretical and Clinical Aspects

Savov, Svetoslav and Atanassov, Nikola (2013) Deficits of Affect Mentalization in Patients with Drug Addiction: Theoretical and Clinical Aspects. ISRN Addiction, 2013 . pp. 1-6. ISSN 2314-4734

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Official URL: http://www.hindawi.com/isrn/addiction/


Traditionally treated with wariness, drug addictions have provoked a serious interest in psychodynamically oriented clinicians in recent decades. This paper discusses the development of contemporary psychodynamic conceptualizations of addictions, focusing specifically on mentalization-based theories. The concept of mentalization refers to a complex form of self-regulation which includes attribution of psychological meaning to one’s own behavior and affective states, as well as those of the others. We hypothesize that drug-addicted patients have severe impairments in mentalizing, associated with developmental deficits, characteristic for the borderline personality disorder and psychosomatic conditions. Psychodynamic models of mentalization and their corresponding research operationalizations are reviewed, and implications for a contemporary understanding of drug addictions and psychotherapy are drawn. The authors propose that mentalization-oriented theories provide an adequate conceptualization, which is open to empirical testing and has clear and pragmatic guidelines for treatment.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Mentalization, Personality organization, Heroin addiction, Psychodynamic therapy, Borderline personality disorder
Subjects:Psychology > Psychoanalysis. Psychopathology
ID Code:1717
Deposited By: Svetoslav Savov
Deposited On:01 Apr 2013 09:13
Last Modified:01 Apr 2013 09:13

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