Intolerance of uncertainty is an important transdiagnostic risk factor for a wide range of difficulties including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and eating disorders. Recent developments in the way that intolerance of uncertainty is conceptualized have led to a novel way to work with it – with the potential for therapists to improve the effectiveness of their treatments.

This article explains the new model and proposed treatment approach, focusing exclusively on behavioral experiments targeting beliefs about uncertainty.

We outline how this new approach could be integrated into your practice, as a potential method to improve the effectiveness of current GAD treatments.

Dr Matthew Whalley

 

The anxiety equation describes anxiety as a function of threat appraisal.
The anxiety equation describes anxiety as a function of threat appraisal.

 

Intolerance of uncertainty makes you more likely to interpret ambiguous situations as threatening.
Intolerance of uncertainty makes you more likely to interpret ambiguous situations as threatening.

 

Behavioral experiments can be used to target beliefs about uncertainty.
Behavioral experiments can be used to target beliefs about uncertainty.
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