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Distraction

Distraction is a helpful psychological technique and ‘life skill.’ Used in the right amount and with the right motivation it an incredibly adaptive coping strategy. Think of the last time you visited the dentist for a filling—was it helpful to distract yourself from the procedure? And if it was, then why can’t distraction be helpful for your patients too? Conceptually, grounding techniques are a form of distraction, and other techniques such as worry postponement require distraction from intrusive worries. There is evidence that distraction is an effective strategy for tackling depressive rumination (Fennell & Teasdale, 1984) and that it is as effective as cognitive restructuring for tolerating pain (Kohl, Rief, & Glombiewski, 2013). Read more

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15 of 15 resources

Grounding Techniques Menu

Dissociation can be described as a shift of a person’s attention away from the present moment. When working with traumatized clients, this shift oft ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/grounding-techniques-menu

Grounding Techniques

Individuals who have experienced trama often find it difficult to stay within the 'window of tolerance'. Grounding techniques (which can be sensory/pe ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/grounding-techniques

Relaxed Breathing

Practising Relaxed Breathing serves to reduce physiological arousal and can be an excellent grounding technique. This client information handout descr ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing

Attention Training Experiment

Self-focused attention can make people less likely to see their social performance in a positive light, and contributes to the maintenance of social a ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/attention-training-experiment

Thought Suppression And Intrusive Thoughts

Suppression is a common approach to unwanted thoughts, worriers, doubts, or urges. Unfortunately, there are good reasons why this strategy fails. This ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-suppression-and-intrusive-thoughts

Attention Training Practice Record

When people struggle to control the focus of their attention, they find it much harder to interrupt cycles of worry, rumination, and other forms of se ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/attention-training-practice-record

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 1 (Audio)

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 1 is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. The aim of this breathing exercise is t ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing-exercise-1-audio

Sensory Grounding Using Your Five Senses (Audio)

The Sensory Grounding Using Your Five Senses exercise is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. It is designed ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/sensory-grounding-using-your-five-senses-audio

Grounding Statements (Audio)

The Grounding Statements exercise is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. This audio track is designed for p ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/grounding-statements-audio

Grounding Objects (Audio)

The Grounding Objects exercise is a simple technique which teaches people with PTSD or dissociative disorders how to use objects with particular senso ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/grounding-objects-audio

Recovering From A Nightmare (Audio)

The Recovering From A Nightmare exercise is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. Many people with PTSD have ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/recovering-from-a-nightmare-audio

Sensory Grounding Using Smells (Audio)

The Sensory Grounding Using Smells exercise is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. It is designed to teach ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/sensory-grounding-using-smells-audio

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 2 (Audio)

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 2 is an audio track taken from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. The aim of this breathing exercis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing-exercise-2-audio

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 3 (Audio)

Breathing Exercise 3 uses the imagery of breathing air of different colours to help the listener make their breathing slower, deeper, and more regular ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing-exercise-3-audio

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 4 (Audio)

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 4 is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. Slow, relaxed, diaphragmatic breathing ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing-exercise-4-audio

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References

  • Fennell, M. J. V., & Teasdale, J. D. (1984). Effects of distraction on thinking and affect in depressed patients. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 23(1), 65–66.
  • Kohl, A., Rief, W., & Glombiewski, J. A. (2013). Acceptance, cognitive restructuring, and distraction as coping strategies for acute pain. The Journal of Pain, 14(3), 305–315.