Setting Free the Bears: Escape From Thought Suppression
ABSTRACT A person who is asked to think aloud while trying not to think about a white bear will typically mention the bear once a minute. So how can people suppress unwanted thoughts? This article examines a series of indirect thought suppression techniques and therapies that have been explored for their efficacy as remedies for unwanted thoughts of all kinds and that offer some potential as means for effective suppression. The strategies that have some promise include focused distraction, stress and load avoidance, thought postponement, exposure and paradoxical approaches, acceptance and commitment, meditation, mindfulness, focused breathing, attention training, self-affirmation, hypnosis, and disclosure and writing. Many of these strategies entail thinking about and accepting unwanted thoughts rather than suppressing them--and so, setting free the bears. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).
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- "Providing clinically safe opportunities for maladaptive perfectionists to express feelings typically suppressed may yield spillover benefits in reducing self-criticism, lowering stress, repairing the stress–response cycle, and improving mental as well as physical health. Future research should examine methods for altering emotion regulation (for examples, see Nolen-Hoeksema, Wisco, & Lyubomirsky, 2008; Wegner, 2011) and whether those also change perfectionistic characteristics or relevant outcomes. Thus, future work will also be important to address outcomes of stress reactivity and poor recovery from stressors, such as psychological distress and physical health symptoms (Dickerson & Kemeny , 2004), as well as interventions aimed at improving these outcomes. "
ABSTRACT: To provide counseling psychologists with a greater understanding of patterns of personality, stress, and emotion regulation, the present study examined perfectionists' typical emotion regulation patterns and physiological reactivity (salivary cortisol concentration) to a social-evaluative stress experience. An initially large sample (N = 421) completed measures of perfectionism, higher order personality factors, and emotion regulation. A subset of the larger sample (N = 61) completed the Trier Social Stress Test. Latent profile analysis revealed typologies consistent with more and less adaptively perfectionistic groups, as reflected in different stress reactivity and emotion regulation patterns. The results have implications for further understanding the positive and negative effects of perfectionism and physiological reactivity to performance stress among individuals with high performance expectations. In addition, the results may inform counseling psychologists about viable targets for therapeutic interventions for stress and emotion regulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).Journal of Counseling Psychology 09/2013; 61(1). DOI:10.1037/a0034446 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Comments on the original article, "Setting free the bears: Escape from thought suppression," by D. M. Wegner (see record 2011-25622-008). While Wegner supposed that we might have to learn to live with bad thoughts, the present author discusses the use of imagination and guided imagery as an alternative to forced thought suppression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).American Psychologist 09/2012; 67(6):498. DOI:10.1037/a0028999 · 6.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Resumen Este trabajo analiza el efecto de los pensamientos negativos en el ajuste psicológico de progenitores divorciados españoles, 131 custodios y 92 no custodios. Los progenitores no custodios presentan una media más elevada de pensamientos negativos post-divorcio que los custodios. Niveles altos de pensamientos negativos corresponden a progenitores con un menor bienestar psicológico, tanto en custodios como no custodios, y con peor ajuste al divorcio y menos perdón sólo en custodios. Las dificulta-des psicológicas y emocionales predicen los pensamientos negativos post-divorcio, aunque se aprecian perfiles diferentes para progenitores custodios y no custodios. Discutimos las implicaciones de estos resultados para la intervención con progenitores divorciados. Palabras clave: Divorcio, ajuste, bienestar, satisfacción de vida, negativismo. Abstract This study examines the role of negative thoughts in the psychological adjustment of 131 custodial and 92 non-custodial Spanish divorced parents. Non-custodial parents display more negative thoughts than custodial ones. Above-average levels of negative thoughts are associated with low levels of psychological well-being (both custodial and non-custodial parents), poor adjustment to divorce and low levels of forgiveness (only custodial parents). Although differences were found between custodial and non-custodial parents, psychological and emotional difficulties predict negative thoughts post-divorce. Implications of these findings for intervention with divorced parents are discussed.Estudios de Psicología 01/2013; 34(2):185-195. DOI:10.1174/021093913806751393 · 0.28 Impact Factor