Description of the Strategy

Self-monitoring refers to the process of systematically attending to one's current actions, thoughts, emotions, or physiological reactions and/or to their immediate antecedents or consequences over a sufficient period of time to allow for comprehensive and reliable sampling. Immediacy, continuity, and relative precision distinguish self-monitoring from typical retrospective self-reports (which are implicitly built upon the accurate recall of prior unsystematic self-monitoring). Self-monitoring, also called self-observation, serves a dual function within clinical behavior therapy in that it refers both to a discovery-oriented technique for self-assessment (e.g., “How many cigarettes per day do I smoke?”) and a method of altering the frequency of monitored activities (e.g., “I shouldn't be smoking that many cigarettes!”).

As a means of self-assessment and self-induced ...

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