The thought-stopping technique: a treatment for different types of ruminations?

Can J Psychiatry. 1981 Apr;26(3):192-5. doi: 10.1177/070674378102600312.


Thought-stopping, a simple behavioural technique, can be of help in the treatment of different ruminative processes such as ruminations, phobias of internal stimuli, smoking the sexual deviations. After reviewing the research data, although they claim that more controlled studies are mandatory, the authors believe that thought-stopping can be beneficial in clinical practice under certain conditions. They advise clinicians to use the technique described by Wolpe and Lazarus and they discourage the use of relaxation prior to thought-stopping. Tape-recorded instructions are not recommended in order to maximize the patient-doctor relationship. Finally, if good results are not obtained after a maximum of six sessions of therapy, other forms of treatment should be considered.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy*
  • Phobic Disorders / therapy
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Research Design
  • Thinking
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy