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The effects of cognitive defusion and thought distraction on emotional discomfort and believability of negative self-referential thoughts

Authors
Journal
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
0005-7916
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
41
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2009.08.006
Keywords
  • Acceptance
  • Acceptance And Commitment Therapy
  • Believability
  • Cognitive Defusion
  • Emotional Discomfort
  • Mindfulness
  • Self-Referential Thoughts
  • Thought Distraction

Abstract

Abstract Previous research has shown that rapid vocal repetition of a one-word version of negative self-referential thought reduces the stimulus functions (e.g., emotional discomfort and believability) associated with that thought. The present study compares the effects of that defusion strategy with thought distraction and distraction-based experimental control tasks on a negative self-referential thought. Non-clinical undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of three protocols. The cognitive defusion condition reduced the emotional discomfort and believability of negative self-referential thoughts significantly greater than comparison conditions. Favorable results were also found for the defusion technique with participants with elevated depressive symptoms.

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