Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Eric W. Cowan

Jennifer Cline

A. Renee Staton


The purpose of this literature review is to demonstrate the profound influences and numerous applications the concept of mentalization has within counseling processes. The skill of mentalizing extends across theoretical orientations within existing counseling frameworks and has been suggested to be a core factor within the counseling process (Allen, Fonagy, & Bateman, 2008). Mentalizing capacities have been linked to positive therapeutic alliances (Markowitz & Milrod, 2011), positive client outcomes (Bernbach, 2002; Bouchard et al., 2008; Fonagy & Target, 1996; Karlsson & Kermott, 2006; Levy et. al., 2006; Meehan, Levy, Reynoso, Hill, & Clarkin, 2009), and counselor effectiveness (Cologon, 2013); and as such is an essential skill for counselors and clients to develop.