Background: Over the last twenty years metacognitive theory has provided a novel framework, in the form of the Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model, for conceptualizing psychological distress (Wells & Matthews, 1994, 1996). The S-REF model proposes that psychological distress persists because of unhelpful coping styles (e.g. extended thinking and thought suppression) which are activated and maintained as a result of metacognitive beliefs.
Objective: This paper describes the S-REF model and its application to addictive behaviors using a triphasic metacognitive formulation.
Discussion: Evidence on the components of the triphasic metacognitive formulation is reviewed and the clinical implications for applying metacognitive therapy to addictive behaviors outlined.
Keywords: Addictive behaviors; Cognitive-attentional syndrome; Metacognition; Metacognitive beliefs; Metacognitive therapy; Self-Regulatory Executive Function model.
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