Thinking About Your Thoughts: Investigating Different Cognitive Change Strategies
A mainstay technique of cognitive therapy is the cognitive error (CE) method, which aims to mitigate psychological distress by identifying logical errors in thinking and replacing them with alternative, adaptive cognitions. Monson and Fredman (2012) have developed a different cognitive change strategy, named the U.N.S.T.U.C.K., which is predicated on the notion of increasing cognitive flexibility to improve distress. This therapy analogue study (N = 32) examined the emotional change produced by each strategy and initially tested each strategy’s underlying theory. Both strategies resulted in emotional change, and there was a marginally significant advantage of the U.N.S.T.U.C.K. in producing this change. The U.N.S.T.U.C.K. also resulted in a greater decline in belief in original thought over time. Finally, the interaction between level of belief in new thought and cognitive strategy was a marginally significant predictor of emotional change; there was a stronger relationship between belief in new thought and emotional change for those in the U.N.S.T.U.C.K. group. Limitations and future research directions are offered.
KeywordsCognitive therapy Cognitive restructuring Cognitive change Emotional change Cognitive theory
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