BACKGROUND: General principles of milieu therapy together with a general psychodynamic frame of reference were felt to have become inadequate in providing an adequate and coherent treatment program in an inpatient psychotherapeutic setting. Both Transference Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) and Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) are individual psychotherapy models developed for use in outpatient practice. Theoretically, both models could be adjusted for use in an inpatient setting. However, despite their common psychodynamic roots they differ fundamentally on some theoretical and practical issues. AIM: To reorganize the inpatient group psychotherapeutic program using TFP as the frame of reference supported with principles from MBT to provide strong guidelines for the multidisciplinary treatment. METHOD: We describe the basic principles and procedures of both psychotherapy models and their modifications to adjust these models for inpatient group psychotherapy. RESULTS: From both a theoretical and a pragmatic point of view the TFP and MBT models complement each other extremely well. The modifted TFP model seemed to work well in an inpatient psychotherapy setting. With the help of the detailed frame of reference, the working methods of the various disciplines could be better aligned and coordinated so that they bolster each other. The use of video registration, common practice in TFP treatments, made a major contribution to this process. CONCLUSION: Working with the TFP model enriched with MBT principles was successful in optimizing the treatment program.

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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kooiman, C., Kuipers, G. H., Huffstadt, C., & Kooiman, K. (2013). Transference focused psychotherapy (TFP) and principles of mentalisation in inpatient psychotherapy; a matter of form and content. Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie (Vol. 55, pp. 939–948). Retrieved from