Compass Program for Young Adults

Mentalizing & Core Issues

One focus of treatment for young adults involves what we call mentalizing. Mentalizing literally means a person’s ability to reflect on his or her internal mental states and the states of others in cooperation with members of their treatment team. Menninger’s Compass Program helps young adults develop the skills necessary to successfully mentalize.
Part of the mentalizing process requires the identification of core issues. Most young adults who come to Compass have multiple symptoms and confusion about their primary problems. Those issues may be biological, such as a previously undiagnosed thought disorder or a failure to respond to medication. Core issues may also be psychological and caused by separation issues, unresolved trauma or distorted self-perception or dysfunctional family patterns.
The clinical treatment team helps each patient identify his or her core issues through individual and group activities throughout their time in the program, but particularly early during the first days with Compass.
Sample Mentalizing Exercise
These are the types of questions asked during a mentalizing exercise:
  • List the problems you think led to your admission here.
  • What has prevented your progress in these areas?
  • Are there some issues you have had trouble addressing?
  • What needs to happen during your treatment to make progress in these areas?