Selective Attention

This Selective Attention worksheet is a simple one-page illustration of the concept. Selective attention is mechanism which serves to maintain a wide variety of clinical problems. For example, many unhelpful thinking styles (e.g. 'black & white thinking', 'magnification & minimisation', 'mental filtering') are examples of selective attention and underpin conditions such as depression or anxiety. Self-focused attention (another form of selective attention) is critical in the maintenance of social anxiety disorder.

This is a Psychology Tools information handout. Suggested uses include:

  • Client handout - use as a psychoeducation resource
  • Discussion point - use to provoke a discussion and explore client beliefs
  • Therapist learning tool - improve your familiarity with a psychological construct
  • Teaching resource - use as a learning tool during training
  • Harvey, A., Watkins, E., Mansell, W., Shafran, R. (2005). Cognitive behavioural processes across psychological disorders. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Selective Attention