Metacognitive therapy

Metacognitive therapy

Metacognitive therapy is a form of CBT and is a more recent development. The name refers to ‘thinking about thinking’ and is interested in our relationship with our thoughts. To understand this approach it is helpful to ask the question, ‘Why do we have negative thoughts?’.

There are two main types of negative thinking: worry and rumination. One is a negative thought about the future, while one is a negative thought about the past. In answering the question, we can see that we do it for a logical reason – to avoid bad things from happening (or at least be prepared) and to learn from past mistakes (or to motivate ourselves to do better in future). These are normal processes that everyone engages in.

However, the problems arise when this form of coping dominates and begins to feel like it is not in our control. Metacognitive therapy helps us to understand the dilemmas we are in (i.e. should I worry to be safe or should I push negative thoughts away to keep calm?) and helps us to resolve them.


Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Enfield and Online


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Daniel Skehan HCPC Psychologist

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