Die Metakognitive Therapie in der Behandlung der unipolaren Depression

Translated title of the contribution: Metacognitive therapy in the treatment of depression

Oliver Korn*, Julia Korn, Ulrich Schweiger

*Corresponding author for this work


Metacognitive Therapy (MCT) developed by A. Wells is one of the new developments of Behavior Therapy. It assumes that not the content of cognition is important for the treatment of psychological disorders. Instead of this from a metacognitive perspective persistent and unflexible patterns of thinking and focusing attention and therewith associated dysfunctional coping behaviors play a crucial role for their development and maintenance. These patterns are called Cognitive Attentional Syndrome (CAS). In depression the CAS consists of excessive rumination and worry, focusing attention on potential danger (threat monitoring) and maladaptive coping strategies, e. g. avoidance of social contact or substance abuse. The reason for the use of these strategies is the existence of positive metacognitions which highlight its benefit for the patient (e. g. Rumination helps me to find a solution for my problems!). Over time however negative metacognitive beliefs develop about the uncontrollability and danger of these processes (e. g., Rumination is uncontrollable!). They account for the continued use of these strategies and of further coping behaviors that backfire. The aim of MCT is to improve the metacognitive awareness of the patients and to regain flexible control over processes of thinking and focusing attention. The CAS is reduced, the underlying metacognitive beliefs are changed and alternative plans of cognitive processing are generated. The existing data suggest that regarding treatment outcome MCT is possibly superior to Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Translated title of the contributionMetacognitive therapy in the treatment of depression
Original languageGerman
JournalPPmP Psychotherapie Psychosomatik Medizinische Psychologie
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)472-476
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 12.2014

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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