The Adolescent Mentalization-based Integrative Treatment (AMBIT) Approach to Outcome Evaluation and Manualization: Adopting a Learning Organization Approach

Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2015 Jul;20(3):419-35. doi: 10.1177/1359104514521640. Epub 2014 Mar 3.


AMBIT (Adolescent Mentalization-Based Integrative Treatment) is a developing team approach to working with hard-to-reach adolescents. The approach applies the principle of mentalization to relationships with clients, team relationships and working across agencies. It places a high priority on the need for locally developed evidence-based practice, and proposes that outcome evaluation needs to be explicitly linked with processes of team learning using a learning organization framework. A number of innovative methods of team learning are incorporated into the AMBIT approach, particularly a system of web-based wiki-formatted AMBIT manuals individualized for each participating team. The paper describes early development work of the model and illustrates ways of establishing explicit links between outcome evaluation, team learning and manualization by describing these methods as applied to two AMBIT-trained teams; one team working with young people on the edge of care (AMASS - the Adolescent Multi-Agency Support Service) and another working with substance use (CASUS - Child and Adolescent Substance Use Service in Cambridgeshire). Measurement of the primary outcomes for each team (which were generally very positive) facilitated team learning and adaptations of methods of practice that were consolidated through manualization.

Keywords: Adolescent mental health; hard-to-reach; learning organizationsorganizations; manualization; mentalization-based therapy; outcome evaluation; outreach teams.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Faculty
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Psychology
  • Social Workers
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy
  • Theory of Mind*