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Using Brief Cognitive Restructuring and Cognitive Defusion Techniques to Cope With Negative Thoughts / Paul, Bennett

Behavior Modification, Volume: 40, Issue: 3, Pages: 452 - 482

Swansea University Author: Paul, Bennett

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Abstract

Up to 90% of people experience some level of negative thoughts, which may, in some, lead to psychopathology. This study compared two theoretically contrasting approaches to changing these negative thoughts: cognitive restructuring and cognitive defusion. Over a 5-day period, participants used one of...

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Published in: Behavior Modification
ISSN: 0145-4455 1552-4167
Published: 2016
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa26651
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Abstract: Up to 90% of people experience some level of negative thoughts, which may, in some, lead to psychopathology. This study compared two theoretically contrasting approaches to changing these negative thoughts: cognitive restructuring and cognitive defusion. Over a 5-day period, participants used one of three approaches to try and manage a personally negative thought: restructuring, defusion, or a control strategy. Before and after the intervention, participants reported: (a) believability of the thought, (b) the discomfort associated with the thought, (c) negativity associated with the thought, and (d) their willingness to experience the thought. In addition, daily online diaries were used to measure; (i) the frequency of these intrusive negative thoughts and 10 other positive or negative self-statements, (ii) theirs ‘willingness’ to experience such thoughts, and (iv) self-report measures of mood and psychological flexibility. The defusion intervention lowered the believability of negative thoughts, increased comfort and willingness to have the target thought, and increased positive affect significantly more than the cognitive restructuring or the control condition. These findings support the potential for using defusion as a strategy for managing negative thoughts.
Keywords: cognitive defusion, cognitive restructuting, belief strength, mood
College: College of Human and Health Sciences
Issue: 3
Start Page: 452
End Page: 482