University of Birmingham Master’s Student Theodora Sabadeanu (right) and Dr Francesca Mantia-Conaty are collaborating on the first ever study into Mindful Interbeing Mirror Therapy (MIMT)
30 April 2021
Guest author: Theodora Sabadeanu
I am currently doing a Masters of Research in Clinical Psychology at the University of Birmingham, and as part of this programme I will soon start the first ever research project into mirror therapy! The study will build on the clinical evidence accumulated by several psychologists including Dr Francesca Mantia-Conaty, which have reported positive clinical evidence with clients.
I am very excited to be the first to investigate this therapeutic approach alongside Dr Francesca, my supervisor. My project involves interviewing clients to explore experiences of mirror therapy. I’m thrilled that the ethics committee have granted approval to begin conducting interviews. This will be the first phase in a research plan into the effectiveness of this new approach.
I will be asking about the aspects of therapy clients find most and least helpful, and how mirror therapy may be different from other talking therapies which clients have received in the past. By analysing personal accounts, I hope we will get better insights into the suitability and effectiveness of mirror therapy in supporting clients with a history of psychological suffering.
So, what is mirror therapy?
Mindful Interbeing Mirror Therapy, or mirror therapy, is a new approach developed over the last eight years by Dr Alessandro Carmelita and Dr Marina Cirio.
Mirror therapy has a strong theoretical and clinical background, but because it is so new, there is no research into its effectiveness and long-term benefits.
A typical therapy session involves the client and therapist facing a large mirror and interacting only through their reflected image. The focus of each session is in the here and now. The client is guided to explore their ‘suffering part’ (what the client feels) and their ‘critical part’ (what they see reflected in the mirror).
The ‘critical part’ usually represents what we internalise from an environment that invalidated our feelings of suffering. That is why the ‘critical part’ may show anger and disgust towards the ‘suffering part.’
Mirror therapy aims to help clients integrate these parts and have a more cohesive sense of self while also viewing the self in a kinder, more compassionate manner. This is done using a unique combination of therapeutic interventions, primarily with the help of the therapist and the mirror.
Want to know more?
Send Dr Francesca a message using the contact form.