Metacognitive Therapy (MCT)

Metacognitive therapy is sometimes described as a type of therapy that involves changing how people think rather than what they are thinking about. In this way, metacognitive therapy is distinct from cognitive behavioural therapy, which focuses more on the content of people's thoughts.

Negative thinking that occurs in various mental health problems tends to take on a life of its own, growing from thoughts about a specific situation to a more global world view. For example, people who are anxious may initially worry about external situations, such as missing a train. With time, however, they may begin to develop a second type of worry, focused on their own thought processes. In essence, they begin to worry about being worried. In people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), problems with metacognition more often encompass difficulty in planning or executing tasks. The goal of metacognitive therapy in ADHD is to improve organization skills, planning, and time management.

MCT does not involve exposure or cognitive restructuring of thoughts and beliefs but focuses on removing barriers to normal processing. Several clinical outcome studies have been completed with markedly positive results.