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Mauer, Maria Christine (2012): Das Konstrukt der Theory of Mind bei Erwachsenen: eine konzeptuelle Beschreibung und Anwendung auf die Psychopathologie und Therapie zweier Patientengruppen. Dissertation, LMU München: Fakultät für Psychologie und Pädagogik



Theory of Mind is a mental process which can be critical to the understanding of the maintenance of psychic disorders and can have implications for their treatment. The idea of a conceptual organisation of the Theory of Mind is supported by current research from Developmental Psychology (see Perner, Mauer & Hildenbrand, 2011). We could show that Theory of Mind seems to develop with the understanding of identity and is based on a common conceptual basis: the understanding of the relationship between reference and representation. Theory of Mind means the ability to ascribe and reflect own mental states and mental states of others. The concept "Theory of Mind" is used very heterogeneousl and is defined very broadly in the research with adults. The aim of this work is to describe the theoretical and conceptual basis of the Theory of Mind and to show its importance for the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Chronic Depression with regards to aetiology concept as well as for its implications in the specific therapy methods [Dialectic Trauma Therapy of (Butollo and Karl, 2012) and the Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System for Psychotherapy (McCullough, 2000, 2006)]. I will take into account the attachment theory, the ability of perspective-taking and the integration of paradoxical information as well as the meaning of trauma as a determining factor in the organisation of the Theory of Mind. The differentiation between reference and representation forms the basis of the ability of perspective-taking as well as understanding identity. This work shows related concepts as well as established assumptions about the organisation of the Theory of Mind and Mentalizing and introduces a meta-representational concept to distinguish between reference and representation. The environment is seen as an external source of supply to the formation of mental representation. This work intends a systematic processing of the conceptual fundament of the Theory of Mind as a basis for the use in the clinical-therapeutic area.