Research Highlight: A History of Metacognitive Therapy From Cognitive Science to Clinical Practice

Capobianco and Nordahl (2021) recently published an article taking one through the history of Metacognitive Therapy. The article highlights how MCT was developed from cognitive science, backed by a theory and translated into clinical practice.

The authors highlight how the development of MCT was based on a theory of mechanisms underlying psychological disorders (i.e. the S-REF Model; Wells & Matthews, 1994, 1996, and more recently extended Wells, 2019) which is in contrast to a majority of psychotherapies which have been developed based on clinical observation rather than scientifically tested techniques or an a-priori theory, which may be one of the reasons underlying the effectiveness of MCT.

MCT has often been compared with other psychological therapies, with some arguing it is a third wave therapy. Capobianco and Nordahl (2021) note why MCT should not be a classed as such and discuss how MCT is different from other psychological therapies and why MCT may mark a paradigm shift in psychotherapy and may serve as a way forward for clinical psychology.

The article is available open access here