Thought stopping (TS) refers to a group of procedures within the cognitive behavioral therapy tradition designed to increase a person’s ability to block or divert a response sequence at the cognitive level, as when a particular stimulus leads to a thought, which then results in a problematic emotional or behavioral consequence. For example, if a person tends to respond to a feared object or situation with catastrophizing thoughts such as “I could die here,” resulting in emotional (e.g., a panic attack) or behavioral (e.g., phobic avoidance) problems, then a TS program may be instituted to enable the person to more often or more quickly break this sequence at the intermediate cognitive point—to control the catastrophizing as soon as he or she notices it occurring. Such ...

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