Moulds – Repetitive Thinking (January 2021)

CBT@Home webinar series

Repetitive thinking Professor Michelle Moulds, The University of NSW

This approx. 63 min CBT@Home webinar was recorded in December 2020 and is the presentation of her address as the 2020 AACBT Mid-career award winner. AACBT members can view for free. Non-members may purchase here.

This talk will help clinicians identify when their clients are engaging in unhelpful repetitive thinking. It will draw attention to the value of assessing repetitive thinking with transdiagnostic measures in order to capture repetitive thinking irrespective of diagnosis or the presence of comorbidity. This will ensure that self-report responses meaningfully index the severity and frequency of repetitive thinking, monitor fluctuations over the course of therapy sessions, and reflect any pre-post intervention changes. Finally, the talk will encourage clinicians working with clients expectant and new mothers to assess and target repetitive thinking as part of CBT for perinatal anxiety and depression.


Michelle Moulds is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor in the School of Psychology at UNSW Sydney. She was awarded her PhD at UNSW in 2003 and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, before returning to UNSW to take up a lectureship in 2004. She is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and has received a number of awards including NSW Young Tall Poppy and Young Tall Poppy of the Year Awards (Australian Institute of Policy and Science, 2010), Early Career Award (Stress and Anxiety Research Society, 2013), and Mid-Career Award (AACBT, 2020). Her team’s research primarily focuses on the nature and role of repetitive thinking (e.g., rumination) in depression and anxiety, and how repetitive thinking interacts with other cognitive deficits (e.g., autobiographical memory disturbances) to maintain psychological disorders. Michelle has been awarded over $5million in research funding to date and has 150 publications.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • An understanding of the theoretical conceptualisation of repetitive thinking and its role as a maintaining factor in depression and anxiety.
  • Knowledge of evidence of the consequences of abstract repetitive thinking.
  • An understanding of the rationale for assessing repetitive thinking with transdiagnostic (rather than symptom-focused) measures, particularly in clients with comorbidity.


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