harshali paralikar

➊home ❷work ❸about ❹papers ❺workshops ❻resources ❼presentations ❽poetry ❾contact

Mentalization-based Therapy (MBT) Psycho-education Program for persons with Borderline Personality Disorder ● 2020

Commissioned by Psychotherapy Advanced Research Center, Bangalore

In collaboration with Dr Ashlesha Bagadia, MBBS, MRCPsych,
Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP)


Mentalization-based therapy (MBT) is a specific type of psychodynamically-oriented 6-12 months long psychotherapy designed to help people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It’s focus is helping people to differentiate and separate out their own thoughts and feelings from those around them.

The first three months of MBT are spent sensitizing the patient, guiding them through preparatory chains of thought. This part is called Mentalization-based therapy information (MBTI)

MBTI is a roughly 50 page document to be read by psychotherapists. It guides the therapist through exercises on mentalization, breaking it into sessions and further into group activities and exercises for the patients. MBTI is verbose and text heavy. All the information on mentalization is required to be verbally explained by the therapist to the patient during therapy.

The psychotherapists required the MBTI experience to be  designed such that:

• The content is adapted to the Indian context

• The exercises are converted into smaller, interactive modules

• The psycho-education program can be adapted to online, remote therapy format.

Target Audience
The PARC in collaboration with The Green Oak Initiative, works with adults with Borderline Personality Disorder in the ages of early 20s to late 30s. The experience was to be designed keeping in mind this age group with a background of middle to upper middle class Indian families, being educated and up to date with the latest social developments.

The process of the project called for a close collaboration between the psychotherapist and the designer on reading and re-interpreting the MBTI text together.

1. Editing of the MBTI text
This step required for rephrasing the examples, language, tone, and narrative of the text. Some examples which were more eurocentric were replaced by Indian counterparts.

2. Identifying opportunity for visuals
Here, a second reading of the MBTIwas conducted to mark touchpoints where the text could be converted into various visual tools like illustrations, mind maps, memes, diagrams. emojis, or gifs.

3. Converting MBTI into presentations
Here, each of the total 13 chapters of the MBTI were converted into presentations, carefully considering the copy that would go on each slide, editing, rephrasing, breaking down the concepts wherever necessary.

3. Design of layouts, colour, typography
The colour and typography were chosen keeping in mind a sense of friendliness of the therapy space but also seriousness of the task of psycho-education at hand.

3. Design of illustrations & diagrams
An illustration brief was carefully broken down to accurate adjectives so as to capture the intended emotion or behavior. Attention was given to the character developments to ensure they looked relatable to the Indian audience.

Testing the Design
The 13 psycho-education presentations were used at the Green Oak Initiative with the BPD cohort of 2021 from February to July of the year. The psychotherapists observed a noted increase in engagement from the group, with some participants requesting access to the presentations for future reference.

Final Outputs
• Illustration design principles for psychotherapy
• Information Architecture principles for psychotherapy
• Experience Design principles for psychology

   Bangalore/ Mumbai, India   •   harshali.para@gmail.com   •   made by Harshali Paralikar ©2021

work   •.  about    /    linkedin   •   instagram   •   twitter