Comparing Metacognition and Mentalization and Their Implications for Psychotherapy for Individuals with Psychosis

  • Jeremy Ridenour
  • Daniel Knauss
  • Jay A. Hamm
Original Paper


Over the past couple of decades, researchers have investigated the relationship between psychosis and social cognitive deficits and how these deficits might be targets for psychosocial treatments. Two important constructs related to social cognition are metacognition and mentalization, which have been developed into distinct therapeutic models for individuals with psychosis. Though metacognition and mentalization are conceptually similar, this review aims to provide a clearer delineation of each term by reviewing the definition and the application to the treatment of individuals with psychosis. We examined key theoretical papers, case studies, and clinical trials on mentalization and metacognition. Metacognition and mentalization share much in common though subtle conceptual distinction reveal key differences theoretically that have therapeutic implications. While emerging from divergent intellectual traditions, mentalization and metacognition complement one another and more trials are needed to examine the technical differences between these therapeutic approaches and the possibilities for both theoretical and technical integration.


Psychosis Schizophrenia Psychotherapy Metacognition Mentalization Social Cognition 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Austen Riggs CenterStockbridgeUSA
  2. 2.Midtown Community Mental Health Center, Eskenazi HealthIndianapolisUSA

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