Title

The Effects of Cognitive Defusion and Thought Distraction on Emotional Discomfort and Believability of Negative Self-referential Thoughts

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry

Volume

41

Issue

1

Publisher

Science Direct

Publication Date

8-18-2009

First Page

11

Last Page

17

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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