Adaptive mentalization-based integrative treatment (AMBIT) is designed to build a strong team around the young person to support their complex needs. ‘Mentalization’ is at the core of AMBIT; it is a psychological term that refers to the ability to recognise and understand our own thoughts, feelings, intentions and behaviours, those of others, and the interaction between the two. When the adults around a child or young person hold a mentalising stance, the child or young person becomes better able to mentalise themselves and others. In turn, this enables them to manage their feelings and behaviours, use adult support, and to make friends. Mentalising aproaches are associated with more secure attachments, and less emotional and behavioural difficulties in students. Mentalising is particularly important for students with communication and interaction needs; it helps to remove barriers to learning and progress and it fosters relationship building. We practice it at all times at Polaris by mentalising:
- Our students
- Their family/carers
- Colleagues and peers
- Multiagency professionals
This creates a safe, mutually supportive and collaborative team around the young person within which they can flourish.