Metacognitive Therapy Summary

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Dr. Adrian Wells, the original developer of metacognitive therapy (MCT), sought to create a transdiagnostic theory and corresponding therapy that in turn would become an alternative to traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) (Normann et al., 2014; Sadeghi et al., 2015; ). Traditional CBT does not generally address metacognition, but rather the content of specific thoughts, instead (Sadeghi et al., 2015). MCT was created, in part, to address this deficiency of CBT. MCT has created attention within the scientific community since its arrival at the end of the 20th century as a new branch of cognitive therapy that is related to third-wave therapies (in the aspect that MCT focuses on mindfully managing one’s thoughts) (Normann et al., 2014).…show more content…
In essence, metacognition is cognition about cognition--thinking about one’s attention, thoughts, memory, etc. (Wells, 2009). MCT is based on an information-processing model first proposed by Dr. Wells, and also co-authored by Dr. Gerald Matthews (Wells & Matthews, 1996). According to metacognitive theory, metacognitive processes can produce unhealthy ruminational or maladaptive presentations in responding to thoughts (Wells, 2009). This is the focal point of metacognitive therapy practice. An example of a negative or maladaptive metacognition would be a client telling their therapist: “my thoughts make me feel like a piece of driftwood at sea”. Negative metacognitions are at the heart of MCT's view of the origin of psychopathology (Wells, 2009). MCT borrows from CBT in that they both view maladaptive thinking as cause for psychology disorder. However, there is a distinction between the two styles; Metacognitive theory views the origin of psychological disorder as maladaptive metacognitive patterns (rather than just focusing on the content of negative thoughts), and even judges negative cognitions as naturally temporary (though negative cognitions can potentially propagate negative metacognitions if not managed effectively) (Hjemdal et al., 2013; Normann et al., 2014; Wells,
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