Thought suppression of multiple personally relevant target thoughts
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Thought suppression has been previously associated with increased frequency of suppression target thoughts during and after efforts to suppress. All previous research has investigated the effect of attempts to suppress a single target thought. Given that the majority of people with conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder report multiple distressing intrusive thoughts, the generalizability of previous research to real clinical situations is questionable. We sought to extend previous thought suppression research by investigating the comparative effect of attempting to suppress one, vs attempting to suppress three, personally relevant target thoughts.We observed an immediate enhancement effect, but no evidence for the rebound effect. Attempts to suppress three targets resulted in the same total number of intrusions as attempts to suppress a single target. These results are consistent with the Ironic Process of Mental Control model.
Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy
© 2011 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Vol. 2(2), 2011, pp. 138-150. Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.
Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology