thought stopping

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This is a specific form of psychotherapy for use with patients who have obsessional thoughts without associated rituals.

The method employs an intense distracting stimulus to interrupt obsessive thought e.g. whenever the patient starts an obsessive thought he should pluck an elastic band which is worn around the wrist.

With practise the patient becomes able to control thoughts without this distracting stimulus.

The prognosis in patients treated in this way is less good than for patients with rituals who are given standard treatment.

Last reviewed 01/2018