Thought and imaginal activity during worry and trauma recall

Evelyn Behar, Andrea R. Zuellig, T. D. Borkovec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The present study examined the frequency with which participants experienced thoughts and images, as well as relaxed, anxious, and depressed affect, when worrying and when recalling past traumatic events. Unselected participants in Study 1, and participants selected on the basis of their GAD and past trauma status in Study 2, engaged in 5-minute counterbalanced worry and trauma recall inductions. Results indicated that while worry was experienced primarily as verbal thought, trauma recall was primarily experienced as imaginal. Furthermore, while both worry and trauma recall were associated with increased anxious and depressed affect, worry was particularly associated with anxious affect in the selected sample, and trauma recall was particularly associated with depressed affect in both unselected and selected samples. Finally, for individuals with both GAD and trauma symptoms, prior worrying was associated with decreased anxious and depressed affect during a subsequent trauma recall task. Theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-168
Number of pages12
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology


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