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      The mourning process and its importance in mental illness: a psychoanalytic understanding of psychiatric diagnosis and classification

      BJPsych Advances
      Royal College of Psychiatrists

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          SUMMARY

          This article brings together the psychiatric and psychoanalytic views of mental illness to deepen the understanding of mental disorder. The intention is to bring to the fore the importance of loss and mourning in clinical practice. Looking for the loss event that underpins the disorder helps determine therapeutic treatment options and increases the chance of authentic therapeutic engagement and recovery. The article summarises theory about the mourning process and discusses the relationship of loss and pathological mourning to mental illness. Fictitious case vignettes developed from years in psychiatric practice are used to illustrate how this relates to clinical practice and formulation.

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          Most cited references29

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          Suicide Rates After Discharge From Psychiatric Facilities: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

          High rates of suicide after psychiatric hospitalization are reported in many studies, yet the magnitude of the increases and the factors underlying them remain unclear.
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            Mentalization-Based Treatment

            The concept of mentalizing has captured the interest and imagination of an astonishing range of people—from psychoanalysts to neuroscientists, from child development researchers to geneticists, from existential philosophers to phenomenologists—all of whom seem to have found it useful. According to the Thompson Reuter maintained Web of Science, the use of the term in titles and abstracts of scientific papers increased from 10 to 2,750 between 1991 and 2011. Clinicians in particular have enthusiastically embraced the idea, and have put it to innovative use in their practices. Mentalization-based treatment (MBT)—making mentalizing a core focus of therapy—was initially developed for the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in routine clinical services delivered in group and individual modalities. Therapy with mentalizing as a central component is currently being developed for treatment of numerous groups, including people with antisocial personality disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, and at-risk mothers with infants and children (A. Bateman & Fonagy, 2011). It is also being used with families and adolescents, in schools, and in managing social groups (Asen & Fonagy, 2011; Fonagy et al., 2009; Twemlow, Fonagy, & Sacco, 2005a, 2005b). In this article, we focus on MBT in the treatment of BPD.
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              Bereavement as a Psychosocial Transition: Processes of Adaptation to Change

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                BJPsych Advances
                BJPsych advances
                Royal College of Psychiatrists
                2056-4678
                2056-4686
                March 17 2023
                : 1-9
                Article
                10.1192/bja.2023.8
                c606f85a-f865-4cc2-a35b-18eefcc45906
                © 2023

                Free to read

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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