Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Research Article

Meta-Cognition and Worry: A Cognitive Model of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Adrian Wellsa1

a1 University of Oxford

Abstract

A meta-cognitive classification and analysis of factors contributing to the development of problematic worry is presented. Dimensions of meta-beliefs, meta-worry, cognitive consciousness, and strategies can be distinguished. A cognitive model of Generalized Anxiety Disorder is advanced based on this framework in which GAD results from an interaction between the motivated use of worry as a coping strategy, negative appraisal of worry, and worry control attempts. These factors result from combinations of dysfunctional meta-beliefs and contribute to subjectively diminished cognitive control. The model presents new implications for a cognitive therapy of GAD, and these are illustrated with a single case treatment study.

Footnotes

Reprint requests to Dr Adrian Wells, University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK.

0Comments
Related Content