Mentalization and Boundary based Awareness

Klaus Blaser
Centre for Applied Boundary Studies (Basel, SWITZERLAND)


This workshop provides an overview of the role of the self-boundary with regard to mentalization capacity. In the “boundary-based awareness” concept presented herein, the individual’s psychological boundary defines what belongs to the inner world and what does not. This demarcation gives rise to three spaces, namely the individual’s own intra-personal space, the intra-personal space of a fellow human and the inter-personal space that lies between. Our attention moves back and forth between these spaces, mostly unconsciously. The time spent in each of these spaces, the direction in which our attention is turned, the distance from our own inner world and, primarily, our freedom to move between the three spaces (Boundary based attention management) determine our well-being and psychological health. This concept enables targeted therapeutic interventions and a new understanding of interactive patterns of behaviour.