"Mental control" from a third-wave behavior therapy perspective

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APA Citation: 

Barraca, J. (2012). "Mental control" from a third-wave behavior therapy perspective. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 12 (1), 109-121.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Conceptual
ACT: Empirical
Other Third-Wave Therapies: Conceptual
Other Third-Wave Therapies: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Third Wave Behavior Therapy. Thought suppression. Mindfulness and Acceptance-based therapies. Mental control. Theoretical study

Most third-wave behavior therapies and, more specifically, Behavioral Activation (BA), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT), have proposed alternatives for intervention for intrusive thoughts, painful memories, unpleasant daydreams or ruminative depressive discourses. While traditional behavior therapy seeks to eliminate such thoughts (or at least reduce their duration, frequency and intensity), or otherwise question their credibility and then replace them with other more positive or adapted  thoughts, in the new forms of behavior therapy, direct intervention for them is discarded, and therefore, techniques such as distraction or thought replacement, thought stopping or cognitive restructuring are no longer considered advisable. In this paper, we review the body of scientific evidence on the usefulness of acceptance and mindfulness based interventions. Although the results are promising, it is true that more data is necessary to demonstrate that these techniques are always recommended over the traditional therapies.

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