Beliefs about your own thoughts – or, actually, thoughts about thoughts – are called metacognitions. These cognitions can be both positive and negative. For example: “Worrying helps me to be well prepared”, but also: “If I don’t stop thinking, I’ll go crazy!” Or “I shouldn’t think about that other man/woman”.

When you have negative thoughts or beliefs, for example about the uncontrollability of worrying, this is also called meta-worrying. In other words, worrying about worrying. For example: “I really have to stop worrying now, otherwise I won’t be able to sleep and then I’ll stay tired!” Or “I keep thinking about everything I do wrong, I really have to stop thinking now!”.

Negative metacognitions and meta-worrying are both at the root of Generalized Anxiety Disorder because they result in an increase in anxiety and worry. To gain more insight into your complaints, you can complete the metacognitive model together with your professional. The model looks like this:

 

Source:

Keijsers, G. P. J., Van Minnen, A., Verbraak, M., Hoogduin, C. A. L. & Emmelkamp, P., (2017). Protocollaire behandelingen voor volwassenen met psychische klachten.

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