Background. Many persons with personality disorders (PD) have problems contemplating mental states and using psychological knowledge to cope with their suffering and solve social problems, the skill termed metacognition in this article. Therapists can focus on metacognitive dysfunctions in order to tailor PD treatment to clients' metacognitive skills.
Aims. To briefly summarize procedures for promoting clients' abilities to define problems in mentalistic terms and use this knowledge to develop new paths towards living an adapted social life, within the context of a continuous regulation of the therapy relationship.
Method. Qualitative analysis of session transcript excerpts from a good-outcome case treated with metacognitive interpersonal therapy.
Conclusion. A therapeutic focus on metacognitive dysfunctions and a regulation of the therapy relationship can lead to improvements in symptoms and interpersonal functioning. The possibility of generalizing the procedure and testing it empirically is discussed.