How To Stop Rumination For Clinical Psychologists and University Psychology Students?


how to stop rumination, clinical psychology, mental health

Rumination is when the exact same thought keeps going around and around in your mind. In clinical psychology, this can be negative because it can affect people’s mental health and as a psychology profession can be helpful to give our clients tips about how to stop ruminating when it happens. That’s the aim of today’s episode, and even if you’re not a clinical psychologist you should still learn something!


This psychology podcast episode has been sponsored by Cognitive Psychology: A Guide to Neuroscience, Neuropsychology and Cognition Third Edition. Available from all major eBook retailers and you can order the paperback and hardback copies from Amazon, your local bookstore or local library if you request it.


Why is Ruminating Negative?

Before we dive into how to stop rumination, I want to mention that the reason why rumination and keep thinking about a negative event is bad for you, is because the rumination will get you down and it will interfere with your problem-solving abilities.


This is negative because in psychotherapy we need our clients to have their problem-solving abilities. So they can work with us on improving their lives and alleviate their psychological distress.


As always, clinical psychology and psychotherapy is about a working relationship between the therapist and the client.


How To Stop Rumination?

With the entire point of this psychology podcast episode being to give clinical psychologists tips for what to suggest to their clients to stop them ruminating. Here’s a very interesting idea.


Therefore, rumination is a cycle where the client has a thought (be it a memory of an angry conversation or a negative event or something else entirely) and the thought doesn’t stop.

Meaning it goes round and round and round in their mind without it ever stopping. Leading to extended rumination which harms their mental health.


As a result, a great way to stop rumination is by using techniques known as “Cognitive Absorbing” tasks.


Meaning tasks that are new to the client so they have to focus on them and become cognitive absorbed into them. Leading to a break in the cycle because the client is so focused on the new task. There isn’t room in their mind to continue ruminating.


That’s the general idea.


Personally, I quite like this idea because it’s a little strange but it makes sense. And if it can help people then that’s even better. As well as another reason why I like it is because it’s easy to do. Making it perfect for people outside of the therapy room since you can easily do this and improve your mental health without any specialised knowledge or equipment.


Examples of Cognitive Absorbing Tasks

Basically, one of these types of tasks is anything new to the client and would require them to focus on it.


For example:

· Make a model

· Draw characters from a book

· (Write a book- that’s a personal one)

· Follow a tutorial on Origami

· Build Lego

· And much more!


How To Stop Rumination: Conclusion

As a final point, I want to mention that whether or not you find the idea of one of these activities fun or not isn’t the point. The entire point of these activities is to break the cycle of rumination and then after you’ve broken the cycle you do something more fun, maybe productive. Because you or your client don’t break the cycle then nothing might feel achievable.


I really hope you enjoyed today’s episode and that you’ve learnt something.


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Clinical Psychology Reference

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/202107/10-simple-ways-break-free-rumination


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