Mentalization-Based Treatment for Personality Disorders: Efficacy, Effectiveness, and New Developments

  • Jana VolkertEmail author
  • Sophie Hauschild
  • Svenja Taubner
Personality Disorders (K Bertsch, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Personality Disorders


Purpose of the Review

This review aims to outline the most recent evidence on the efficacy and effectiveness of mentalization-based treatment (MBT) for personality disorders (PD) from 2015 to 2018 and to describe new treatment developments.

Recent Findings

Since 2015, 14 new—primarily effectiveness—MBT trials have been published. The main body of studies investigated adult populations (n = 11), patients with a borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnosis (n = 8), and compared MBT with another psychotherapeutic treatment (n = 6). The majority of studies suggest that MBT has the potential to improve the clinical outcomes for adolescents and adults with a PD diagnosis, particularly BPD, and also with comorbid diagnoses and there are indications for changes in mentalizing being a specific mechanism of change promoted by MBT.


Despite promising findings, there is an urgent need for methodological sound and sufficiently powered studies to investigate both the efficacy and effectiveness of MBT, especially beyond BPD.


Mentalizing Personality disorders Clinical trials Review 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jana Volkert, Sophie Hauschild, and Svenja Taubner declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Volkert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sophie Hauschild
    • 1
  • Svenja Taubner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Psychosocial PreventionUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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