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Overview of metacognitive training for OCD (myMCT)

MyMCT is a self-help manual that seeks to impart knowledge and coping strategies related to the “thought traps” typical of patients with OCD. Thought traps are unhelpful ways of collecting and making sense of certain information, such as paying attention to potentially dangerous aspects in the environment rather than to neutral features, thinking that everything must be perfect, or feeling overly responsible for others. They can play a role in causing OCD and its progression. However, not everything that looks like OCD is actually OCD. It is important to distinguish between an inaccurate and unhelpful thinking pattern that contributes to OCD and habits and behaviors that appear compulsive but are appropriate in a certain context and do not produce psychological strain (for example, the “obsessing” over details by pilots or surgeons in their professional lives but not at home). We provide myMCT at no cost to people with OCD. However, the development and international distribution of these materials is an enormous task for which we need your help, so we ask you to donate if you are able. All donations go directly to our research.

Preface to the Second Edition of myMCT

Thank you for your interest in myMCT (metacognitive training for OCD). We are pleased to present the updated and expanded English-language version of our self-help manual less than one year after the first edition. For this second edition, we have incorporated comments and suggestions for further improvements from our readers. Thank you! Several of the exercises have been optimized, and a number of new exercises have been added to the book (e.g., exercises aimed at reducing “magical thinking”, or the fusing of thoughts and actions). Unlike the first edition, which was written by a single author, this edition has two authors. Quite a few exercises were inspired by the our metacognitive training for depression (D-MKT), which was co-developed by the second author of myMCT.

The focus of the second edition of myMCT has remained the same: metacognition. The book encourages people with OCD to reflect on their thinking, particularly on those thought styles or distortions that contribute to the development and maintenance of OCD. Metacognitive training aims to help you detect such “thought traps” and offers numerous practical examples and exercises that help you learn how to defuse and avoid these traps and discover a more helpful way of thinking. Just like the first edition, this edition of myMCT primarily addresses people with OCD. The collection of exercises resembles a toolbox (except for the sledgehammer!). Take your time to read through it, and try the exercises to find out which tools best help you to get your OCD under control. You can then add those tools that seem useful to you to your personal toolbox.

Wishing you much success,
Steffen Moritz and Marit Hauschildt

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