Theory of Mind (ToM)

11/12/2021 - 11:00am to 1:30pm CST

Theory of Mind (ToM) is a social-cognitive capacity of an individual to ascribe mental states (e.g., thoughts, beliefs, desires, motivations, knowledge, and emotions) to oneself as well as other individuals. Another important aspect of ToM is the ability to recognize that mental states can vary across individuals. In conjunction, these aspects of ToM are the building blocks of human interaction, enabling an individual to recognize, comprehend, and predict the thought processes and actions of others. ToM requires the development of a diverse collection of skills across infancy and into early childhood. These necessary skills include attentional capacity, the ability to mimic others, performing role plays, recognition of emotions in others, and the comprehension of causes and consequences of actions. Without these skills and the subsequent development of ToM, an individual will often struggle in the realms of social, emotional, and cognitive functioning. ToM deficits are often present in individuals diagnosed with various neurocognitive, neurodevelopmental, and neuropsychiatric disorders. When ToM deficits are present, the individual may struggle with academic performance, making decisions, solving problems, and interacting and communicating with others. Alternatively, a range of social skills such as language development, making friends, communicating, understanding the mental states of others, and distinguishing between the truth and lies could suffer. Nonetheless, the inter-related nature of these developmental skills and ToM may mean that improvements in some of the skills could result in improved ToM. Designed for professionals working in mental health and chemical health treatment settings, this training provides attendees with a working understanding of the causes, consequences, and interventions associated with ToM deficits among client-based populations. Other related topics such as executive function, empathy, emotion regulation, mentalization, mind-mindedness, joint attention, moral decision making, and trauma, neglect, and early institutional deprivation will be discussed throughout this training. Empirically based research findings and case study examples will be highlighted throughout this training.

Training Objectives

1. Define Theory of Mind (ToM) and its related constructs

2. Learn about the precursors of ToM development

3. Learn about the neurobiopsychosocial factors that may affect the development of ToM

4. Learn about the impact Theory of Mind (ToM) deficits have on emotional, cognitive, and social functioning

5. Describe appropriate screening and intervention options for clients impacted by Theory of Mind (ToM) deficits

6. Acquire a number of resources, tips, and strategies to immediately use with clients impacted by Theory of Mind (ToM) deficits

7. Identify the latest research findings pertaining to the topic of Theory of Mind (ToM)


Jerrod Brown, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor, Program Director, and lead developer for the Master of Arts degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Forensic Behavioral Health for Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota. Jerrod has also been employed with Pathways Counseling Center in St. Paul, Minnesota for the past seventeen years. Pathways provides programs and services benefitting individuals impacted by mental illness and addictions. Through his work at Pathways, Jerrod has extensive experience working with clients diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders, serious and persistent mental health (SPMI) conditions, trauma and stressor related disorders, substance use and other addictive disorders, sleep disorders, and criminal justice-involved populations. Jerrod is also the founder and CEO of the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS) and the Editor-in-Chief of Forensic Scholars Today (FST). Jerrod has completed four separate master’s degree programs and holds graduate certificates in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Other Health Disabilities (OHD), and Traumatic-Brain Injuries (TBI). Jerrod is also certified as a Brain Health Coach, Trauma Professional, Compassion Fatigue Professional, Youth Firesetting Prevention/Intervention Specialist, an Anger Resolution Therapist (CART), a Thinking for a Change (T4C) Facilitator, a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Trainer, an Autism Specialist, Digestive Health Specialist, Gut Health Specialist, Stress and Mindset Coach, Holistic Health Coach, Sleep Science Coach, Sex Crimes & Relational Paraphilic Attachments (RPA), Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider (CMHIMP), and a Problem Gambling Treatment Provider in the state of Minnesota. Jerrod has published numerous articles and book chapters. Email:

Jerrod Brown, Ph.D.
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