eISSN: 2084-9885
ISSN: 1896-6764
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia/Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology
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vol. 14
Review article

“Walk a mile in my shoes”. Mentalising ability in patients with eating disorders – literature review „Przejdź milę w moich butach”. Umiejętność mentalizacji u pacjentów z anoreksją i bulimią – przegląd literatury

Katarzyna K. Kordyńska
Barbara Kostecka
Katarzyna Kucharska

Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia 2019; 14, 1–2: 24–31
Online publish date: 2019/09/06
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When it comes to eating disorders, more attention is being paid to social cognition deficits and their influence on the course of eating pathology. One of the forms of social cognition is mentalisation. It can be defined as the ability to interpret one’s own behaviour as well as the behaviour of others in terms of underlying mental states. Even though mentalising ability in patients with eating disorders has been already addressed in the scientific literature, little is known about how mentalising ability differs across specific eating disorder diagnoses. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to conduct a literature review that will summarise, compare, and contrast mentalising ability in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). We predicted that patients with AN have poorer mentalising skills than those with BN. In the second part of this paper, we propose treatment options aimed at remediating mentalising abilities. The electronic database PsycInfo was used to identify relevant articles. Our findings were largely in line with our hypothesis. We found the evidence for impaired mentalising skills in patients with AN. When it comes to BN, it was found that despite relatively well-preserved mentalising skills, the patients tended to use maladaptive emotional regulation strategies. Mentalisation-based therapy (MBT) as well as social cognition training programs are discussed as promising therapies aimed at remediating mentalising abilities and addressing problems with emotional regulation in eating disorders.

eating disorders, social cognition, mentalisation

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