E. Watkins on therapy for depressive rumination

I’ve just finished reading Watkins (2006). Some interesting points:

  • Even though the author says he’s discussing cognitive-behavioral approaches, his approach at times resembles systemic therapy. For instance, he asks himself about the meaning and function of depressive symptoms in specific contexts. Moreover, therapeutic efforts do not address thought content; rather, they aim at changing thinking styles and patterns.
  • Some other comments remind me of psychoanalysis. For example, the author treats rumination as an avoidance strategy. This would be the case of a patient that, in order to avoid getting into a fit of anger, uses rumination as a way to divert his attention and energy. The author even claims that “rumination is often tied up with avoidance of an unwanted or feared self.” This seems to me a good example of what psychoanalists would call a “defense mechanism”.

WATKINS E. 2006. Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy for Depressive Rumination. Mood
Disorders Centre, School of Psychology, University of Exeter.

Another interesting paper on this topic:

Abbott, M. J., & Rapee, R. M. (2004). Post-event rumination and negative self-appraisal in social phobia before and after treatment. Journal of abnormal psychology, 113(1), 136–144. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.113.1.136

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