The Art of Mentalizing – Call for Papers

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22nd-24th October, 2016

Pratt Institute

200 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11205, United States

Call for Presenters


Professor Peter Fonagy, PhD, FBA, OBE,

Peter is Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis and Head of the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at University College London; Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, London; and Consultant to the Child and Family Programme at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. He is a Senior Investigator for the National Institute of Health Research and holds professorships at both Harvard and Yale. He is a clinical psychologist and a training and supervising analyst in the British Psychoanalytical Society in child and adult analysis. He is also National Clinical Lead of the NHS Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies and Director of UCLPartners Integrated Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme.

Judith Aron Rubin, PhD, ATR-BC

Judith is a licensed psychologist and faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center. She is a former president and honorary life member of the American Art Therapy Association, and she consults, lectures, and gives workshops across the country as well as abroad.

The Conference

In October 2016 we will be holding a two day event with an opening evening on Friday 22nd October bringing together friends from all psychological professions to explore the role of arts in health care.

Psychosocial research is reaching an important landmark in understanding how we articulate ourselves through our bodies, images and through the nonverbal  as well as verbal. The conference theme will be about  how we  define and develop the clinical interventions required to produce sustainable change and the role of mentalizing in this process.

This conference will introduce you to methods of promoting mentalizing that link with clinical outcomes, but more than this, it will engage you as a participant, researcher and clinician to learn about, question and develop evidence, arts based methods further.

We invite proposals for:

·      Paper presentations, 

·      Workshops/interactive sessions, 

·      Posters/exhibits 

·      Arts Based Installations


Themed Paper Presentations

In the morning, paper presentations are grouped by general themes or topics into sessions comprised of three or four presentations followed by group discussion. Each presenter in the session makes a formal twenty-minute presentation of their work; Q&A and group discussion follow after all have presented. Session Chairs introduce the speakers, keep time on the presentations, and facilitate the discussion. Each presenter’s formal, written paper will be available to participants if accepted to the journal.

Short papers should be no more the 20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions.

Abstract length: 300 words

Long papers should be 35 minutes with 10 minutes for questions.

Abstract length: 500 words

Theme 1: Mentalizing and Health Care

The first theme is about the context. How do clinical methods of using arts in clinical work implicitly or explicitly support the organisational or social context to produce clinical change for the patient? Are the organisational, clinician and patient aims aligned and how do we mentalize this in a health context?

1.     The clinical context

2.     The mentalizing organisation

3.     Working with multi-disciplinary teams

4.     Service user involvement

5.     Social responsibility and health care

Theme 2: Arts in Health Care Research

There have been major developments in talking therapies over the past ten years. What does this say about the nonverbal interactions and the arts? More research than ever before is being focused on nonverbal communication. How are the arts in health care engaging with the agenda?

1.     Quantitative studies

2.     Mixed methods studies

3.     Measuring mentalizing

4.     Developing arts based research methodologies

5.     Conceptual research: mentalizing and non-mentalizing

Theme 3: Infant Development and Mentalizing

There is evidence to suggest that mentalizing produces good attachments in early development. But how and what produces a capacity to mentalize in early development? Can we learn about how the role of the arts influences the development of mentalizing through examining early carer – infant interactions?

1.     The early development of mentalizing

2.     Mentalizing culture

3.     Play and mentalizing

4.     Identifying parental caring actions and therapeutic competency

5.     Attachment and the arts

Theme 4: Mentalizing, Metaphors and Symbols

Symbols and metaphors are often referred to as central to the change process in the arts. But how do symbols and metaphors relate to mentalizing?

1.     The role of symbolisation and mentalizing

2.     The function of metaphors

3.     The non-symbolic

4.     Symbol formation

5.     Interpreting symbols

Theme 5: Arts based clinical competencies

The role of using the arts in clinical contexts requires qualifying trainings to develop appropriate competencies. However, how do we describe those competencies and are they shared?

1.     The relationship of clinical competency to effectiveness

2.     Researching interventions

3.     Comparing arts based models of working

4.     Therapeutic action that promotes mentalizing

5.     Practice development and innovation

Workshop/ Interactive Session

Workshop sessions involve extensive interaction between presenters and participants around an idea or hands-on experience of a practice. These sessions will use arts media and dialogue to teach, develop and test arts based interventions that promote mentalizing – all involving substantial interaction with the participants.

Poster Sessions

Poster sessions present preliminary results of works in progress or projects that lend themselves to visual displays and representations. These sessions allow for engagement in informal discussions about the work with interested delegates throughout.

Abstract length: 300 words (plus an appendix of extra content)

Arts Submissions

This conference can accommodate images, videos and sound work which can be installed at different locations within the venue appropriate to the work. Guidelines are that the work must:

1.     Relate to the themed presentations

2.     Be installed by the maker (videos can be set up without the artist present)

3.     Uninstalled and collected by the artist

We can provide hands on help with installation, but will need at least one months notice.
Abstract length: 300 words (plus an appendix of extra content)


The strength of the day was the input from from different modalities and bringing their expertise”

All trainers were able to bring their expertise into discussions and share what had worked for them, which was very beneficial”

The conference is being held at: 

Pratt Institute

200 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11205, United States