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Intrusive Thoughts Brain Metaphor

Intrusive thoughts are a common, but sometimes distressing, cognitive phenonemon. This information handout uses a simple metaphor to explain why we experience distress in relation to some thoughts.

Intrusive thoughts feature in a variety of different problems including anxiety and OCD. People often interpret intrusive cognitions in negative ways. The Intrusive Thoughts Brain Metaphor is a conversational metaphor explaining intrusive thoughts in terms of the ‘judging brain’ and the ‘fear brain’. This worksheet was submitted by Kieran Fleck

This is a Psychology Tools information handout. Suggested uses include:

  • Client handout – use as a psychoeducation resource
  • Discussion point – use to provoke a discussion and explore client beliefs
  • Therapist learning tool – improve your familiarity with a psychological construct
  • Teaching resource – use as a learning tool during training

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