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Suppression, Acceptance, and Monitoring of Personally-Relevant Unwanted Thoughts in Women Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder
Hayes, Steven C.
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Recent evidence suggests that patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) experience less immediate distress while suppressing unwanted thoughts, despite the negative long-term outcomes of that strategy longitudinally and in treatment settings. The present study investigated the impact of 8-minute audiotaped suppression/thought control, acceptance, and monitoring instructions on moderately distressing and personally relevant thoughts in women (N = 51; 17 per condition) diagnosed with BPD. Strategies were applied in a 5-minute think-aloud period, followed by a similar period without the strategy, and then a wind-down task. Those in the suppression condition reported less subjective distress throughout but showed evidence of attempts at distraction through increased talking in the second period. Participants in the suppression group with higher experiential avoidance showed more thought intrusions during the main task period and lower positive affect during the wind-down task than those in other conditions. Suppression appears to produce some negative outcomes in this population despite resulting in less self-reported distress. (C) Copyright 2015 Textrum Ltd. All rights reserved.