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What Is Rumination?

Rumination and repetitive thought is a transdiagnostic maintenance process underpinning a range of difficulties. This information sheet explores the consequences of different thinking styles

Repetitive thought or rumination is a transdiagnostic maintenance process which underpins a wide range of psychological difficulties. What Is Rumination? is a CBT information sheet providing a simple explanation of rumination. It explores the consequences of different thinking styles, detailing helpful (process-mode) and unhelpful (evaluative-mode) forms of thinking. It can be used to encourage clients to practise thinking in more productive ways.

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
  • Watkins, E. (2004). Adaptive and maladaptive ruminative self-focus during emotional processing. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42(9), 1037-1052.
  • Watkins, E. R. (2008). Constructive and unconstructive repetitive thought. Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 163-206.

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