Mentalization-based treatment for psychotic disorder: protocol of a randomized controlled trial

Jonas Weijers*, Coriene ten Kate, Elisabeth Eurelings-Bontekoe, Wolfgang Viechtbauer, Rutger Rampaart, Anthony Bateman, Jean-Paul Selten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Many patients with a non-affective psychotic disorder suffer from impairments in social functioning and social cognition. To target these impairments, mentalization-based treatment for psychotic disorder, a psychodynamic treatment rooted in attachment theory, has been developed. It is expected to improve social cognition, and thereby to improve social functioning. The treatment is further expected to increase quality of life and the awareness of having a mental disorder, and to reduce substance abuse, social stress reactivity, positive symptoms, negative, anxious and depressive symptoms. Methods/design: The study is a rater-blinded randomized controlled trial. Patients are offered 18 months of therapy and are randomly allocated to mentalization-based treatment for psychotic disorders or treatment as usual. Patients are recruited from outpatient departments of the Rivierduinen mental health institute, the Netherlands, and are aged 18 to 55 years and have been diagnosed with a non-affective psychotic disorder. Social functioning, the primary outcome variable, is measured with the social functioning scale. The administration of all tests and questionnaires takes approximately 22 hours. Mentalization-based treatment for psychotic disorders adds a total of 60 hours of group therapy and 15 hours of individual therapy to treatment as usual. No known health risks are involved in the study, though it is known that group dynamics can have adverse effects on a psychiatric disorder. Discussion: If Mentalization-based treatment for psychotic disorders proves to be effective, it could be a useful addition to treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number191
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2016


  • Mentalization
  • Treatment
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychosis
  • Social functioning
  • Social cognition
  • Psychotherapy

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