Managing Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts In Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Relative Effectiveness Of Suppression, Focused-Distraction, and Acceptance

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Managing Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts In Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Relative Effectiveness Of Suppression, Focused-Distraction, and Acceptance

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Title: Managing Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts In Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Relative Effectiveness Of Suppression, Focused-Distraction, and Acceptance
Author: Wegner, Daniel M.; Najmi, Sadia; Riemann, Bradley

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Najmi, Sadia, Bradley C. Riemann, and Daniel M. Wegner. 2009 Managing unwanted intrusive thoughts in obsessive compulsive disorder: relative effectiveness of suppression, distraction, and acceptance. Behaviour Research and Therapy 47(6): 494-503.
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Abstract: Suppression is one of various mental control techniques that people may use to manage unwanted thoughts. Evidence suggests that it is at best unsustainable and at worst counterproductive. This leads to the question: If suppression is a futile way to respond to unwanted, intrusive, thoughts, what is a more effective alternative? In the current study, we evaluated the relative effectiveness of suppression and two alternative mental control techniques—focused distraction and acceptance—on the frequency of intrusions and distress associated with them. Results support the claim that suppression is a counterproductive technique for dealing with unwanted, intrusive thoughts in OCD. However, the harmfulness of suppression was reflected primarily in the magnitude of distress and not in intrusion frequency. Focused distraction and acceptance were the more effective techniques for managing clinically significant intrusive thoughts. We discuss implications for the cognitive treatment for OCD.
Published Version: doi:10.1016/j.brat.2009.02.015
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9275580

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7495]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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