Exploring implicit mentalizing as an online process

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Christina Fogtmann Fosgerau, Antje Schöps, Poul Lundgaard Bak, Annette Sofie Davidsen

Therapists’ implicit mentalizing skills are essential in the treatment of mental disorders, and implicit mentalizing is considered a general social competence for understanding other people. However, no methods have been developed to tap into implicit mentalizing as a live or online process displayed in interactions. The aim of this article is to demonstrate how online implicit mentalizing processes can be explored by applying the method of conversation analysis (CA). CA uses a sequential approach to study the establishment of understanding in interactions between people. In this article, we show that a systematic exploration of implicit mentalizing processes can be done by applying this sequential approach and the underlying knowledge of CA on interactional phenomena and their functions and meanings. We demonstrate our method by thoroughly analyzing three extracts from recordings of dinner conversations at a residential care school. We make a theoretical link between mentalizing processes and the phenomenological understandings of intersubjectivity and empathy, and we suggest that this phenomenological understanding could develop the understanding of implicit mentalizing as a phenomenon. This would, in addition, be fully compatible with CA as a method for grasping implicit mentalization.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Psychology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • assessment of mentalizing, conversation analysis, empathy, implicit mentalizing, online mentalizing, phenomenology

ID: 197098949