Detached mindfulness in cognitive therapy: A metacognitive analysis and ten techniques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes the nature and information processing requirements of detached mindfulness. The construct emerged from the self-regulatory information processing theory of emotional disorder (Wells & Matthews, 1994), and is viewed as a metacognitive state that facilitates change in core underlying pathological processes. Detached mindfulness has multiple components, requiring the activation of metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive monitoring and control, suspension of conceptual processing, attentional flexibility, and a de-centered relationship with thoughts. A model of the cognitive structures and processes supporting the state is presented. Implications of the model for the scientific development and effective use of mindfulness techniques are discussed. Ten techniques for rapidly achieving detached mindfulness in the course of metacognitive therapy are described. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-355
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Rational - Emotive and Cognitive - Behavior Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005