Comparing the effectiveness of thought suppression and cognitive defusion in managing obsessional intrusive thoughts

O'Sullivan, Bernadette (2013) Comparing the effectiveness of thought suppression and cognitive defusion in managing obsessional intrusive thoughts. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Background: Cognitive defusion is a core therapeutic process in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT helps clients distance themselves from cognitive content that functions as a barrier to pursuing valued behavioural directions. This systematic review focuses on cognitive defusion techniques that use deliteralisation to try to reduce the literal quality of thoughts and help individuals see them as just thoughts rather than absolute truths.
Aims: To synthesise experimental findings regarding the effects of cognitive defusion on distress and believability in experimental laboratory-based component studies.
Method: A systematic literature search was conducted in June 2013 using CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsychINFO, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library databases to identify relevant studies.
Results: Nine studies met inclusion criteria for review. The majority of studies (i.e. 7) were rated “moderate” in quality, the remaining two were rated “good” and “low”. Cognitive defusion was generally shown to produce superior results to distraction, imaginal exposure, and control conditions, and similar results to cognitive restructuring and thought suppression. The studies reviewed also reported findings about potential moderator variables, namely the use of experiential exercises and the duration of cognitive defusion techniques.
Conclusions: Given the promising findings in relation to cognitive defusion and the dearth of research in this area, it would seem that further research into this therapeutic technique is warranted.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Cognitive defusion, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Deliteralisation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: Davidson, Professor Kate
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Ms Bernadette Anne O' Sullivan
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4637
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2013 12:09
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2015 12:15

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