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OBJECTIVES: Thought suppression is a strategy aimed at mental control that may paradoxically increase the frequency of unwanted thoughts. This preliminary study examined effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on thought suppression and depression in individuals with past depression and suicidality. METHODS: In a randomized controlled trial design, 68 participants were allocated to an MBCT group or a treatment-as-usual waitlist control. Measures of thought suppression and depression were taken pre- and post-treatment. RESULTS: MBCT did not reduce thought suppression as measured by the White Bear Suppression Inventory, but significantly reduced self-reported attempts to suppress in the previous week. CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary evidence suggests that MBCT for suicidality may reduce thought suppression, but differential effects on thought suppression measures warrant further studies.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Clin Psychol

Publication Date





209 - 215


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Awareness, Cognitive Therapy, Depressive Disorder, Female, Humans, Male, Meditation, Middle Aged, Personality Inventory, Psychotherapy, Group, Research Design, Secondary Prevention, Suicide, Treatment Outcome, Waiting Lists