April 25, 2017 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
141 Herrick Road
Newton Centre
MA 02459
Lauren Lukason




Empathy, Theory of Mind and Mentalization: Their Roles and Applications in Treatment


Elsa Ronningtam, PhD

Psychoanalyst Member, and Faculty of the Psychoanalytic Training, and Explorations in Mind programs, BPSI. Private practice in Belmont.


Registration is Required — Click here to Register


8 Sessions: Tuesdays, February 28; March 7, 14, 21, 28; April 4, 11, 18, 2017

Time: 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Location: BPSI, 141 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459

Fee: Early Bird: $175 • Regular: $225 (after February 11, 2017)

The fee is waived for BPSI Members, Trainees, and Associates. Scholarships are available upon request.


Empathy, theory of mind and mentalization are fundamental in human mental functioning and play an integral role in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Recent empirical and clinical studies have both helped to clarify their definitions but also to identify their complex natures and interactions, as well as their enabling conditions, and fundamental fluctuations and limitations. This course will expand and integrate the participants’ knowledge and understanding of empathy, theory of mind, and mentalization; how they co-occur and interact in patients, and how to address and apply them to interventions in treatment of patients with a range of personality functioning and psychiatric conditions.


Registration is Required — Click here to Register


Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss the conceptual development of empathy, theory of mind and mentalization within different theoretical traditions, and their application to treatment approaches and interventions.
  2. Describe recent neuroscientific perspectives on theory of mind, emotion regulation, and empathic functioning.
  3. Apply theoretical, scientific and clinical understanding of empathic processing to informed and balanced treatment interventions.
  4. Discuss theory of mind and its application in treatment.
  5. Describe the relevance of mentalization for treatment of severe personality disorders, and points of divergence from standard psychoanalytic technique.
  6. Discuss basic mentalizing techniques and their application to problems with empathy.
  7. Discuss specific challenges with severe psychopathology and suicidality, and the roles of empathy, theory of mind and mentzalization.
  8. Discuss how to implement new understandings of empathy, theory of mind and mentalization in own therapeutic interventions in case discussions.


8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Lecture/Case Presentation, 9:00 pm – 9:30 pm: Group Discussion

This course is only for licensed mental health clinicians and trainees on the path to licensure. Continuing Education credits are offered for psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.


Registration is Required — Click here to Register


Continuing Education

Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Psychologists: The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This program fulfills the requirements for 12 hours of CE.

Please note: Per APA requirements, psychologists must attend 100% of a course in order to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Social Workers: Please contact the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute’s Administrative Office at 617/266-0953 or office@bpsi.org for more information.

Please note: Per NASW requirements, social workers must attend 80% of a course in order to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Grievance Policy

Please address any questions or concerns about your experience at this or any program or event you have attended at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute to the Program Chair, via the Senior Administrator/ Director of Continuing Education, BPSI, 141 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459; office@bpsi.org; 617.266.0953.

Cancellation Policies & Procedures

Any program participant requesting their individual program registration be canceled, must submit their request in writing via email to Drew Brydon at dbrydon@bpsi.org. For fee-based events, a request for cancellation (and refund using the original form of payment) must be received no later than 48 hours in advance of the event. Requests received later than 48 hours prior to the event will not be processed or accepted.

All approved refunds are subject to a $10.00 administrative fee.

If BPSI cancels an event, all registrants will receive a full refund of fees paid (no administration charge) no later than two business days following the scheduled date of the event, using the original form of payment.

The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Inc., 141 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459, does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin or handicap in the admissions, administration of its educational programs, scholarship and loan programs or employment.