Description of the Strategy

Thought-stopping (TS) was a technique employed by behavior therapists from the 1950s until the 1980s. It was designed to decrease the frequency of unwanted thoughts. It was assumed or hoped that TS would also decrease the ensuing distress or anxiety associated with the thoughts. Although TS was, and to a small extent still is, a common tool in the behavioral therapy toolkit, there is little sound empirical evidence to support its use. Many case studies and case series describe TS as a helpful technique when implemented as the sole intervention technique or as part of a typical cognitive or behavioral treatment package.

Bain introduced TS under the presupposition that thought control is an important aspect of positive mental ...

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