b. Foundational Concepts

Emotional Avoidance

Over the last several we’ve discussed all the ways that we experientially avoid, including escape strategies and reassurance seeking, situational avoidance, somatic avoidance, cognitive avoidance, and emotion-driven behaviors. The last form of avoidance is emotional avoidance. Emotions are evolutionarily adaptive states that motivate behavior. Every emotion has or has had some utility in the evolutionary past. …

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An explanation of worry

Worry is a two-part process including an uncertain question and an attempt to answer it. Whether the attempt to answer it occurs via analysis, problem-solving, distracting, or getting reassurance, the attempt to answer is always problematic because it can never “solve” an unanswerable question and it makes the original uncertainty feel more threatening.  We typically …

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Repetitive Negative Thinking (RNT)

At the end of last year, we discussed experiential avoidance including escape strategies and reassurance seeking, situational avoidance, somatic avoidance, cognitive avoidance, emotional avoidance and emotion-driven behaviors. For the next several weeks, we will shift to another type of response mechanism that creates, maintains, and intensifies psychological suffering: repetitive negative thinking. Repetitive negative thinking is the …

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Functional Worry

I’ve decided to organize the categories of repetitive negative thinking into types so that I can also organize interventions that will be most helpful for each type. You won’t find this in any textbook, scholarly articles, or elsewhere on the internet. I’m using these types for us to have shared language without unhelpful interpretations that come …

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Worry as a process

Your process for any task is your series of steps to achieve your end. Your process for brushing your teeth or cleaning your kitchen may seem to you like “that’s just how you do it,” but if you surveyed the next 10 people you encounter it is very likely that their process for those tasks are …

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Mental compulsions

The nature of obsessive thoughts is that they are unwanted and intrusive. They arrive with a spike of anxiety or uncertainty and the urge to do something that makes them stop. Behavior that you feel compelled to perform, against your conscious wishes, with the sole intention of ending a thought, feeling or sensation is a …

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Rumination

Rumination as a repetitive negative thinking state is triggered by pervasive negative beliefs. It is a sticky thinking pattern that shows up habitually when triggered by certain environmental or internal states. Type 4 – Rumination Ego-orientation: Ego-syntonic, meaning that ruminative thoughts seem believable to the thinker. Time orientation: Past Content: Churning through memories to figure out …

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Post-event processing

Post-event processing is a term from social anxiety research. It is used to describe the combination of worry, rumination, and self-criticism an individual with social anxiety experiences after a social event. In Huddle.care, we seem to be using it to refer to the after-effects of every anxious situation. Consider it our growing shared language.  The …

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Fixed Attentional Focus

Another response mechanism that creates, maintains and intensifies psychological suffering is fixed attentional focus.  The attentional bias in worry and OCD tends to be threat-related stimuli. Social anxiety is maintained by a self-focused attentional bias. Depression is maintained by a ruminative attentional bias.   When you are worrying or stuck in obsessive content, your mind …

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