The impact of cognitive restructuring and mindfulness strategies on postevent processing and affect in social anxiety disorder
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Postevent processing (PEP; reviewing a past social event in detail) is a key maintenance factor of social anxiety disorder (SAD). The current study examined the efficacy of a single session cognitive restructuring or mindfulness strategy on decreasing PEP and its associated effects, and investigated the cognitive processes involved. Fifty-six individuals with SAD completed a speech task to elicit PEP and were taught a cognitive restructuring, mindfulness, or control strategy to manage their negative thoughts. Participants in the cognitive restructuring and mindfulness conditions reported significantly reduced PEP and improved affect as compared to the control condition. There were no significant differences between the cognitive restructuring and mindfulness conditions. Participants in the cognitive restructuring condition reported decreased probability and cost biases. Regardless of study condition, decreases in cost biases and maladaptive beliefs significantly predicted reductions in PEP. Cognitive restructuring and mindfulness appear to be promising strategies to decrease PEP and improve affect.
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